Kellyanne Conway defends Trump's racism — and blames Hillary Clinton — as CNN's Jake Tapper corners her on Charlottesville
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday insisted that President Donald Trump’s handling of a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville was “darn near perfect” after the president suggested that there were “fine people” on both sides of the issue.
During an interview on CNN, host Jake Tapper noted that Trump had recently called his response “perfect” after the racist demonstration left one dead in Charlottesville.
Tapper pointed out that Trump has also recently denied that white nationalism is a growing threat around the world.
“People in law enforcement think white nationalism is a growing threat,” the CNN host said. “And now we’ve had the second fatal synagogue shooting in six months — I’m not saying it’s President Trump’s fault.”
“I think there’s anti-Christianity,” Conway snapped back.
“Of course,” Tapper agreed.
“She wouldn’t call it radical Islamist terrorism,” Conway complained.
“Who?” Tapper wondered.
“Hillary!” Conway replied. “At her convention, she wouldn’t…”
Tapper interrupted: “I’m talking about Donald Trump. President Trump said he didn’t think white nationalism was a growing threat around the world. I’m asking.”
“He does think it’s a threat,” Conway agreed. “Of course, he thinks it’s a threat.”
“Well, he said he didn’t,” Tapper observed.
“He did in no uncertain terms,” Conway insisted.
“No he didn’t,” the CNN host continued. “He said six weeks ago, ‘I don’t really think it’s a threat.'”
“It’s horrible, whatever it is,” Conway said. “But for Joe Biden, who’s been in public life, he was elected at 29, to come out and have no vision, no accountability for the Obama-Biden record. Didn’t even mention President Obama, but mentions Charlottesville to try to use that for political purposes.”
Tapper cut her off again: “President Trump said he thought his response to Charlottesville was perfect.”
“You want to talk about that,” Conway complained.
“You keep bringing up Charlottesville,” Tapper offered.
“No, I didn’t,” Conway remarked.
“Was President Trump’s response on Charlottesville perfect?” Tapper asked. “Yes or no.”
“I think it was twisted,” Conway groused.
“He said his response was perfect,” Tapper repeated.
“Because intent matters,” Conway droned.
“Was his response perfect?” Tapper tried again. “It’s a very simple question.”
“It’s not a simple question!” Conway exclaimed.
“Was President Trump’s response perfect?” the CNN host said, giving Conway another chance.
“President Trump condemned evil violence and then took it many steps further,” Conway stated, “and called out neo-Nazis, white supremacists, KKK.”
“Was his response perfect?” Tapper asked.
“It is darn near perfection,” Conway argued. “When you’re calling out KKK, neo-Nazis and you’re saying, there are people there who hadn’t signed up for that.”
“You know President Trump left ambiguity [in his statement],” Tapper said.
“It looks like you and others are looking at 2020 and decided this guy can’t be beaten fairly,” Conway charged.
“That’s beneath you,” Tapper shot back.
“It’s not beneath me,” Conway assured the host.
“That comment is beneath you,” Tapper said again.
At that point, Conway demanded Tapper “move on” to talk about the economy.
Watch the video below from CNN.