Kellyanne Conway reacted to the backlash she received for kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office. The White House senior adviser was seen perched on the furniture while trying to take a photo of President Donald Trump and several leaders of historically black universities and colleges on Monday, February 27. Watch the video of her explanation above.
"I was very busy today and didn’t follow a lot of it, but I know there are a couple of reports at least showing what happened, and what happened is we had the largest gathering of men and women to date in the Oval Office for a picture. These are the presidents and other leaders within the historically black college and universities and they came to visit the White House," Conway, 50, said during an appearance on FOX Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on Tuesday. "Of course, just today, the President signed the executive order on HBCU's and I had an occasion to speak at length to many of those leaders before that picture and after that picture and again today. And I really want to thank so many of them for coming to my defense because they were in the room and they know I was being asked to take a picture in a crowded room with the press behind us. I was asked to take a certain angle and was doing exactly that."
She added: "I certainly meant no disrespect, I didn't mean to have my feet on the couch."
The picture of Conway went viral on social media, just hours before POTUS, 70, delivered his first speech to Congress. On Tuesday, Dobbs called out the "venom on the left" for their reaction compared to when Barack Obama put his feet on the Resolute Desk in the past.
"It is venomous, it is vicious, it bothers my children, to be frank with you. I have 24/7 secret service protection because there are people out there who do wish us harm and people should take that very seriously. I am not a victim at all but people should take very seriously the import of their words," Conway told host Dobbs. "If we started the trend here, where people are outwardly talking about greater respect for the office of the President and its current occupants, then perhaps that’s something positive that came out, but I of course meant no disrespect … this came from a journalist who is not happy that Donald Trump is the President. But I just want people to focus on the great work of the HBCU presidents and how honored we were to have them here."
Omarosa Manigault, a top aide to Trump, further defended Conway in a separate interview. "I saw her taking pictures — it was a very sweet moment, to be honest," the former Celebrity Apprentice contestant, 43, said, via The Washington Post. "I literally looked at her and said, 'Kellyanne, can you try to get a good shot?'… She tried again; she positioned herself to get a better picture. It really was at my encouragement for her to try to capture such an important, historic moment."
Conway shared the Washington Post article on Twitter. "Thanks @OMAROSA. Happy to snap/send pics," she tweeted. "Kellyanne Conway has 'incredible respect' for the Oval Office, WH says."
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