CNN's Jake Tapper presses Conway on Trump's Charlottesville response: Was it 'perfect?'

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows Cicilline: O'Rourke's AR-15 comment 'doesn't help' MORE and White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayIran: Rouhani, Trump won't meet at United Nations Trump denies reports he's willing to meet with Iran with 'no conditions' O'Rourke's debate moment reignites gun debate on Sunday shows MORE clashed Sunday over whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE's response to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., was "perfect."

Trump last week defended his 2017 comment that there was blame on "both sides" of the violent white supremacist rally that led to the death of one counterprotester, telling reporters on Friday that he handled his response "perfectly."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump initially said there were "very fine people on both sides" before condemning hate groups that were present at the rally, including the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazi groups. He doubled down Friday in response to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE's 2020 campaign launch video, which referenced the Charlottesville rally.

"Was President Trump’s response on Charlottesville perfect?" Tapper asked Conway on Sunday.

"I think it was twisted for many years," she responded.

Tapper continued to press Conway, noting that former White House economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnTrump says US will hit China with new round of tariffs next month Gary Cohn bemoans 'dramatic impact' of Trump tariffs Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, who nearly left the administration after Charlottesville, "doesn’t think his response was perfect.”

"Gary Cohn stayed in the White House for many months after that," Conway countered.

"But he almost resigned," Tapper noted, before again asking, "It’s a very simple question. Yes or No. Was President Trump’s response perfect?”

"President Trump condemned racism, bigotry, evil, violence and then took it many steps further and called out Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, KKK," Conway explained.

"Was his response perfect?" Tapper pressed.

"That is darn near perfection," Conway said.

After several more minutes of back-and-forth, Conway ended the discussion by praising Trump's response. She did not directly respond to Tapper's question about whether Trump's response was "perfect," as the president claimed last week.

"I think anytime a president is willing to condemn people who hate other people based on their race of their religion it’s a great day for America, and that’s what he did," she said.