White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is pushing back against accusations that Vice President Pence staged a political stunt by walking out of an Indianapolis Colts game over a protest during the national anthem.
"It takes a lot to get that man's blood boiling and to refer to somebody who's standing up for the flag and all it represents to hundreds of millions of Americans and all it signals to the world, our veterans, our unity, the founding of our great nation," she said Monday on "Fox & Friends."
"To call that a political stunt is truly outrageous, egregious and offensive."
Conway also said she has worked with Pence for a decade and noted that when Pence often had to comfort the families of fallen soldiers when he was the governor of Indiana.
"This is a man who said he doesn't think it's too much to stand," she said.
Conway said Americans should talk about what the flag means instead of focusing on players who take a knee during the anthem
"The flag, I still think is the most cohesive, unifying symbol in our nation ... at a time when we feel very fractured and divided," Conway said.
Pence on Sunday walked out of the Colts game after several San Francisco 49ers kneeled during the national anthem.
The vice president said in a statement he would not support an event that disrespects the flag and its soldiers.
President Trump on Sunday said he was "proud" of Pence for his actions. On Monday, Trump said Pence is receiving "great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country."
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation Senators to meet with Ukraine president to reaffirm US support MORE (D-Conn.), however, called Pence's move a "multi million dollar political stunt paid for by taxpayers."
A top government watchdog also blasted Pence for using government travel to go to the game, which he quickly left.
“CAN WE JUST MAKE IT THROUGH A WEEKEND WITHOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION ABUSING TAXPAYER DOLLARS WITH JET TRAVEL!?” the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted Sunday.
Trump spurred controversy last month when he attacked NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem. Since his comments, many players have taken a knee when the national anthem plays ahead of their games.