CNN's Smerconish presses Conway over Trump, Charlottesville: 'It was not the perfect answer'

CNN host Michael Smerconish on Saturday pressed White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayObama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' Journalists, political heavyweights pay respects to Cokie Roberts: 'A pioneer for so many' Iran's supreme leader rules out talks with US at all levels MORE over President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE's recent comments about white nationalists and counterprotesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump initially said there were "very fine people on both sides" before condemning hate groups that were present, including the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazis. He said this week that he handled the situation "perfectly" and was referring to people who were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate army leader Trump called "a great general."


"But no fine person would stand alongside torchbearers who are chanting, 'Jews will not replace us,'" Smerconish said Saturday while interviewing Conway, referring to a group of protesters who marched around Charlottesville the night before the 2017 protest.

"It was not the perfect answer because the perfect answer would have left no room for ambiguity or interpretation," he added.

Conway defended Trump over his Charlottesville remarks, claiming that he was clear in his condemnation of hate groups.

"There is no room for ambiguity and interpretation. What the president said in condemning violence, bigotry, hatred, and he specifically called out KKK, neo-nationalists, white supremacists," she said.

Trump defended his Charlottesville comments on Friday after they were put back into the spotlight following Joe BidenJoe BidenJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency 2020 candidates keep fitness on track while on the trail Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE's entrance into the 2020 presidential race.

The former Democratic vice president released a video to launch his campaign in which he highlighted Trump’s 2017 comments about the rally, where a white nationalist killed a counterprotester.

"With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it," Biden said. "And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime."

Conway on Saturday repeatedly ripped Biden over his record, often citing in the interview his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1991 Anita HillAnita Faye HillAnita Hill: I could see myself voting for Biden over Trump Bill Maher: Buttigieg a 'little too young' to be president What I saw at the last impeachment: Rules are for little people MORE hearings.