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

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperAcosta to Trump: CNN's 'record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes' Murphy: No concerns with Sanders on gun policy Dean says he's not worried Sanders would harm down-ballot Democratic candidates MORE and 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 clashed Sunday over whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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 BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate 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 CohnBannon says Trump now understands how to use presidential power: 'The pearl-clutchers better get used to it' Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Gary Cohn says Trump's tariffs 'hurt the US' 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.