Kellyanne Conway defends Trump by asking reporter: 'What's your ethnicity?'

The White House aide snapped back at a journalist who pressed her on the president’s attacks on four congresswomen of color

The White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday questioned a reporter about his ethnicity while defending Donald Trump’s attacks on four congresswomen of color.

“What’s your ethnicity?” Conway snapped back to Andrew Feinberg, a reporter for the website who pressed her on the president’s controversial comments.

Feinberg had asked Conway which countries Trump was referring to when he tweeted that four Democratic lawmakers – representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota – should “go back” to where they “came from”.

The president’s remarks have widely been condemned as racist and on Tuesday drew a formal rebuke from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. All four members of Congress targeted by Trump are US citizens.

Addressing reporters at the White House, Conway grew testy while fielding questions on Trump’s motivations in singling out four women of color.

When asked by Feinberg why his own ethnicity was relevant to the discussion, Conway shot back: “Because I’m asking you a question.” She also offered that her ancestors were from Ireland and Italy, to which Feinberg replied: “My ethnicity is not relevant to the question I’m asking you.”

Conway later wrote on Twitter that she meant “no disrespect” by asking about the reporter’s ethnicity, in an attempt to spin Trump’s comments as alluding to the idea that everyone has a heritage.

“We are all from somewhere else ‘originally’. I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity: Italian and Irish,” Conway tweeted. “Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA & grateful to God to be an American.”

Conway has forcefully defended Trump amid the controversy over his remarks, stating: “A lot of us are sick and tired in this country of America coming last.”

Her husband, George Conway, meanwhile penned a column in the Washington Post titled: “Trump is a racist president.”

George Conway, a conservative lawyer, is a prominent critic of Trump’s who has repeatedly declared the president’s actions as unconstitutional despite his wife’s position in the West Wing.

In his op-ed, George Conway recalled an incident from his childhood when his mother, who had immigrated to the US from the Philippines, was told: “Go back to your country.”

“No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot,” George Conway added, “But Sunday left no doubt.”

“Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president.”


Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Kellyanne Conway tells Bill Maher Americans 'better off' thanks to Trump
Ex-counsellor insists Capitol attack Trump incited distracts from president’s accomplishments in office

Martin Pengelly in New York

16, Jan, 2021 @1:44 PM

Article image
Kellyanne Conway broke law during Alabama election, says watchdog
The White House aide violated federal law by advocating for Roy Moore, according to US Office of Special Counsel

Jamiles Lartey and Ben Jacobs

06, Mar, 2018 @7:12 PM

Article image
Trump aide Kellyanne Conway: 'I'm a victim of sexual assault'
White House counselor who has mentioned a ‘#MeToo moment’ before defends supreme court pick Kavanaugh on Sunday shows

Martin Pengelly

30, Sep, 2018 @6:37 PM

Article image
Scrutiny on Rose Garden event after Kellyanne Conway and other guests test positive for Covid
At least seven people who attended event for Trump’s supreme court nominee have confirmed they have coronavirus

Lois Beckett and agencies

03, Oct, 2020 @8:04 PM

Article image
Kellyanne Conway to leave Trump White House at end of month
President’s adviser cites the need to focus on her family as her husband George also steps back from his role at the Lincoln Project

Guardian staff and agencies

24, Aug, 2020 @3:28 AM

Article image
Trump 'not discussing' firing Mueller as Russia pressure mounts – Conway
Top White House adviser refuses to say president will rule out firing special counsel while senator legislating to stop any such dismissal says it wouldn’t work

Martin Pengelly

06, Aug, 2017 @6:41 PM

Article image
Conway goes for political product placement
Scotus pick Gorsuch splits with Trump on judicial criticisms... Conway violates ethics, suggests ‘buy Ivanka’... Letters to ‘President’ Bannon... and everything else today in US politics. By Jamiles Lartey

09, Feb, 2017 @10:41 PM

Article image
White House rebukes Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump products
Top Trump aide broke rules for federal employees in giving ‘free advertising’ during interview for fashion line dropped by Nordstrom, ethics lawyers said

Joanna Walters in New York

09, Feb, 2017 @6:57 PM

Article image
Cards against humanity: Kellyanne Conway mocked for Fox News stunt
White House adviser uses flash cards with words ‘Conclusion? Collusion’ and ‘Illusion, delusion’ to illustrate arguments in defense of Donald Trump Jr

Amanda Holpuch in New York

13, Jul, 2017 @3:25 PM

Article image
Kellyanne Conway: 'alternative facts' was my Oscars La La Land blunder
Senior White House adviser says media should have let her ‘brush off’ mistake, equating it with the best picture award going to the wrong film

Martin Pengelly

04, Mar, 2017 @11:50 AM