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 BeltwayBreakfast.com 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.”

Contributor

Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

The GuardianTramp

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