Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was in the process of wrapping up a bravura performance on today’s Morning Joe. Conway was crisp, pleasant, substantive and nimble. And this Insurrectionist found himself thinking: for once, Conway can focus on the issues as the campaign sees them, instead of having to clean up after some intemperate statement Trump had made. And then . . .

Morning Joe rolled a clip of Trump at a rally repeatedly calling out by name NBC reporter Katy Tur for her failure to report the good news about his campaign. Willie Geist: “Do you think it’s appropriate for Donald Trump in a setting like that to single out any reporter by name given the heat reporters have taken in this and that Katy had to be escorted out by Secret Service at previous rallies?”

Things turned suddenly tense on the set, and there was a stunned/angry pause on the part of the Morning Joe people when Conway said that she had discussed the issue with NBC, would leave it there, and responded “no, sorry” to a request to shed more light on the subject. In fact, Conway went on to make the point that Trump and his supporters were reacting to reports that, by a ratio of 10:1, people believe the MSM wants Hillary to win. Kellyanne did concede that she prefers Trump to speak about “institutions generally” rather than single out individuals, such as Tur.

Note: At the end of the segment, Mika let readers know that the Clinton campaign—once again—had declined to make any representative available for the show. What’s Hillary afraid of?

WILLIE GEIST: Before we let you go, I want to play for you a sound bite of something Donald Trump said on the trail last night.

DONALD TRUMP: We have massive crowds. There’s something happening. They’re not reporting it. Katy, you’re not reporting it Katy. But there’s something happening, Katy. There’s something happening, Katy.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Hmm. Katy Tur.

WILLIE: Do you think it’s appropriate for Donald Trump in a public setting like that to single out reporters, and not just an NBC reporter, any reporter, by name given the heat reporters have been taking in this, given the fact that Katy has had to be escorted out by Secret Service at previous rallies? Why is he calling people out by name in the back of the room?

CONWAY: Well, he obviously didn’t mean it in any malicious way. You heard what he said. But I’ve spoken to NBC News about that issue. And I’ll leave it there.

WILIE: Would you like to shed any light on it?

CONWAY: No. Sorry.

MIKA: Wow.

CONWAY: You can call me later.

[pause]

WILLIE: What’s, why, why can’t we talk about it on TV?

CONWAY: I will tell you this just generally about the media. You saw the polls. I hope you saw them this week that by a margin of 10 to 1, that’s kind of way outside of the margin of error, by a margin of 10 to 1, Americans think the media want Hillary Clinton to win. I honestly think that the combination of Donald Trump railing against political correctness and him reminding people what they already suspect, which is that the fix is in in many places, not all places. Not even most place perhaps, Willie but people are so tired of being told what to think, how to act, what to do . . .

I really appreciated Joe on the set yesterday and you, as well, Mika, calling out some of your colleagues in the media. Not by name, but saying basically you’ve been cheerleaders, not reporters these last couple weeks. Where do these stories, particularly in print by the way and then they’re repeated on TV. The race is over. She’s going to have a landslide. People don’t like that. It’s their voice and their choice. And for many Americans, lady and gentleman, for them it’s the most important thing they’ll do in the next five days. It’s the best part about democracy. Everybody has one vote.

MIKA: All right: Willie’s going to call you later.

WILLIE: Do you agree Donald Trump was wrong to call Katy out by name?

CONWAY: I always prefer when he talks about institutions generally. And I had an exchange with Katy last night. And I’ve been in touch with NBC News.

MIKA: Kellyanne Conway, thank you. And I should note that we asked the Clinton campaign for someone from their campaign leadership to join us this morning, but they declined to make anyone available.