Kellyanne Conway on tear-gassing: 'I have great compassion for any mother who wants a better life for her children'

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayDem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as 'fake' Bush economics director says psychiatrists labeled Trump 'total narcissist' Hatch Act complaints jumped nearly 30 percent Trump's first year in office: report MORE said Tuesday that she felt deeply for mothers who want better lives for their children, but argued that the best thing for vulnerable people seeking American citizenship and for the country is tighter border security.

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"The president's made very clear he wants funding for his wall," Conway told reporters outside the White House. "As witnessed by recent events, we need border security and we need people to understand the legal way to come to the country."

Over a thousand people rushed the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday in an attempt to force their way through after Mexican federal police tried and failed to stop them from doing so.

The chief patrol agent for San Diego Sector Border Control, Rodney Scott, said the groups were largely composed of men, who in some cases moved women and children to the front as the men began to throw rocks at border agents.

Once they had been assaulted, border agents released tear gas, dispersing the crowd.

Scott said Monday that U.S. authorities arrested 42 people and Mexican authorities say they will deport around 500 people who attempted to force their way into America "violently" and "illegally."

Trump reiterated his call for border wall funding after the scuffle, tweeting, "We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!"

Many on the left decried the use of tear gas against the group, after images emerged of a woman pulling her two young children away from the gas.

Reuters reports that Mexico has asked the U.S. to investigate the use of tear gas.

When asked if she had sympathy for women and children caught in the tear gas, Conway said she felt deeply for them.

"On this matter, I have great compassion for any mother who wants a better life for her children," she said. "That's why I believe that if people taking pictures of these women really care about them, they won't go for optics, they'll go for opportunity."

"Try to help," she said. "Who's helping them to realize how they can immigrate here legally?"

"Who promised them things that don't exist? Who took their money and promised them safe passage and a peaceful path here towards asylum, when it's not true?" she asked reporters. "That's not the way to come."

"There are peaceful and legal ways to come to this country and I would say to those women and their children that they should go ahead and look at those options."