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 ConwayBrazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record Conway: Reported sexist Bloomberg remarks 'far worse' than what Trump said on 'Access Hollywood' tape Candidates make electability arguments, talk Bloomberg as focus turns to more diverse states MORE over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes 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 BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket 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 HillClarence Thomas breaks his silence in theaters nationwide Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools MORE hearings.