Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE has the right do defend himself against critics, his campaign manager said Sunday, but that doesn't make him thin-skinned. 

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Kellyanne Conway said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that Trump was defending himself when he went after Robert Gates for calling him "beyond repair." The Republican presidential nominee took to Twitter on Saturday, labeling the former Defense secretary as "dopey" and a "total disaster." 

"Mr. Trump has the right to do that. He's attacked by people who have never met him, who haven't given a thoughtful look to his plans, which, of course, are out there for everyone to see," Conway said.

But she rejected claims that Trump's tendency to hit back at his critics on Twitter is evidence of poor temperament.  

"Mr. Trump has a right to defend himself from people who I don't think are looking at the substance of his plans. They're just judging someone they've never met."