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 ConwayWatchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom Meme group joins with Lincoln Project in new campaign against Trump MORE over President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled 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 Biden2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency Abrams: Trump 'doing his best to undermine our confidence' in voting system 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 HillOur consciousness-changing moment — and a reckoning for 1972? Trump sets up for bruising campaign against Biden Clarence Thomas breaks his silence in theaters nationwide MORE hearings.