Twitter has not taken action against Kellyanne Conway, one of former president Donald Trump’s top campaign and White House aides, after her account posted a nude photo of her underage daughter Claudia.
The photo, in which Claudia was clearly recognizable, was posted as a fleet, Twitter’s version of Instagram stories, in which posts automatically expire after a day.
The fleet was quickly deleted, but not before a number of people on Twitter saw it and reported it to the company. Kellyanne Conway had 3.3 million Twitter followers at the time this story was published.
Twitter claims it has a "zero-tolerance child sexual exploitation policy," regardless of the intent of viewing, sharing, or linking to child sexual abuse images. “In the majority of cases, the consequence for violating our child sexual exploitation policy is immediate and permanent suspension,” the policy says. Twitter also bans nude images shared nonconsensually on the platform.
Asked if it would ban Kellyanne Conway from the platform in response to the incident, a Twitter spokesperson said, “Through technology and human review, we’ll proactively remove any images that violate the Twitter Rules.”
Twitter did not respond to questions about whether it believes the fleet to be a violation of its rules, how long the post was visible, how many people saw it, and who deleted it.
Possession of child sexual abuse images is illegal in the state of New Jersey, punishable by up to five years in prison and being added to a sex offender registry.
A representative for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families told BuzzFeed News they were "unable to confirm any investigations or pending investigations regarding alleged child abuse or neglect." When BuzzFeed News contacted the Alpine Police Department, which serves the area where the Conway family currently lives, a representative said, “We know what’s going on with the Kellyanne Conway situation,” but added, “I cannot release anything to you.”
Claudia posted a TikTok Tuesday morning in which she states that she will be taking a break from social media in order to work on her relationship with her family. Claudia insists that the statement was not forced, although she posted a now-deleted TikTok recently saying that if she ever took an absence from social media, it would not be of her own accord.
“I have faith and I know that my mother would never put something like that on the internet, as well as me,” Claudia says in the video. “We would never do that. My mom and I always fight like mothers and daughters, but we also love like mothers and daughters. And I do love her.”
Several people left confused replies to Kellyanne’s most recent tweet, an innocuous tribute to the late Larry King, asking if she had been hacked.
“Your account got hacked!” one man said. A few minutes later, in response to another user, he said, “Yeah there was a topless lady in her fleets lol.”
One person said the fleet "looked like Claudia to me," and in another tweet said, "I reported the fleet immediately. How does this lady still have a twitter??"
One person said they had taken a screenshot of the fleet, added a censor, and posted the picture, thinking that it was an adult woman. The person said they later deleted the picture, and explained in a tweet, "Now that I know who it is I no longer feel comfortable leaving the picture up even if it is censored."
Claudia Conway seemed to learn of the photo on Monday night, after a person on TikTok commented on one of her posts saying, “you mom did something on Twitter, and I don’t know if it was a mistake but they released your nudzzz.”
“I don’t know if this is a joke or not but I’m really scared,” Claudia says in the TikTok.
In a second TikTok, Claudia responds to a comment alleging that Kellyanne posted a photo of Claudia without her shirt on. “Is this real?” she asks. Claudia then posted a series of comments, both in plain text and in Morse code, indicating panic.
"Please get people to talk about this," Claudia wrote in Morse code. "I'm ok but scared af spread awareness pls."
In a now-deleted TikTok, Claudia says that she had not shared the image with anyone, and her mother must have obtained the image when she took her phone. BuzzFeed News was unable to independently corroborate this information. The fleet posted on Kellyanne’s account appeared to be a photo taken of another phone’s screen displaying the image of Claudia.
YouTuber Tana Mongeau livestreamed a FaceTime call with Claudia on Instagram Monday night, documenting a confrontation between Claudia and Kellyanne. In the video, Claudia asks her mom about the image and Kellyanne calls Claudia a "phone addict." The end of the call appears to show a police officer arriving to speak with the family.
Claudia Conway has accused Kellyanne Conway of abusive parenting on TikTok over the past several months. Earlier this month, Claudia posted excerpts to TikTok of videos that she had recorded of Kellyanne. The videos show Kellyanne screaming and cursing at her daughter, “Fuck you!... Bitch... If you only knew what people thought of you.”
"You're lucky your mom's pro-life," Kellyanne says in a video.
Claudia later deleted these videos and explained why in a later post.
“I don’t think any of you understand what it’s like to be in the situation I’m in,” she says in the TikTok. “I posted those hoping I would get some sort of help. But nothing is gonna happen so I deleted them in fear of getting gaslighted and manipulated.”
Claudia has said in other recent videos that the police and Child Protective Services have arrived at her house in recent weeks, but nothing happened after the visits.
Correction: A spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families clarified that they were "unable to confirm any investigations or pending investigations regarding alleged child abuse or neglect." An agency representative previously told BuzzFeed News it was “looking into all the concerns around the incident.”