Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended the Republican presidential nominee, saying she’s been alone with Trump and he’s been “gracious and a gentleman,” despite the lewd language from a leaked video, which she called disgusting.
“I have to assess people based on what I see in totem. And this is a man that I’ve been alone with many times who’s never been anything but gracious and gentleman and elevated me to the top level of his campaign the way he’s elevated women in the Trump organization because he respects women,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash after the presidential debate.
On Friday, previously unaired 2005 footage revealed Trump bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and being able to grope women.
“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump said.
Trump later issued an apology, calling the conversation “locker room banter.” He defended his comments during the debate, saying: “I don’t think you understood what was – this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”
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Conway called Trump’s lewd and sexually aggressive remarks “offensive and disgusting,” but added that she was happy with his apology.
“My initial reaction was very close to what Melania Trump said. I was offended and I think the language is offensive and disgusting and I’m very happy that he apologized,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash. “I’m glad he holds himself accountable. Because I look at the full measure of people. What they’ve said, what they’ve done Dana, how they deal with adversity that comes to them.”
CNN’s John King also asked Conway about Trump revealing during the debate that he had not spoken to his running mate Mike Pence about Syria.
“Donald Trump said he had not spoken to his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence about Syria and that he disagreed with him,” King said. “Over thirty days from the American people voting, Mike Pence will be out there campaigning tomorrow, is the message to the American people that Mike Pence rallies, don’t believe what he says?”
“No, not at all,” Conway responded. “They were talking about two different things (on) Syria. And I just talked to Gov. Pence about 10 minutes ago and he says hello. And he and Mr. Trump have also talked about what a great debate week we’ve had … In the vice presidential, the conversation was about humanitarian crisis. And Mr. Trump said Hillary was making it more about military action.”
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They were referring to when one of the debate’s moderators Martha Raddatz asked Trump about the humanitarian crises in Aleppo.
“Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question. If you were president what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said,” Raddatz said. “He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in air strikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”
“OK. He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree,” Trump said. “I think you have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and it’s Iran, who she made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly, very, very quickly.”
Clarification: This post has been updated to make clear that Conway was defending Trump, who she called a “gentleman,” and not his lewd comments, which she called disgusting.