Kellyanne Conway Stops Short of Endorsing Trump's 'Morning Joe' Tweets

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Kellyanne Conway

The presidential counselor called Trump a "counter-puncher."

Kellyanne Conway stopped short of endorsing President Trump's personal attacks on Morning Joe co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough Friday morning.

Citing White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' defense of Trump from the day prior, Conway called Trump a "counter-puncher" during an appearance on GMA. “The president normally does not draw first blood," she told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. "He is a counter-puncher, as he said on the campaign trail."

Conway said Trump gets hit personally constantly and is called "a goon, a thug, mentally ill." The "toxicity," she said, is "over the top."

But Stephanopoulos continued to press Conway on his initial question: "Do you endorse what the president sent out in those tweets?"

She carefully replied, "I endorse the president's right to fight back. When he is being mercilessly attacked and when the airwaves are filled with raw sewage about him and his fitness for office."

Later in the conversation, after the anchor continued to put the question to her, Conway attempted to clarify her stance, "I didn't say I endorse his attacks. What I said was I endorse his ability to fight back when he is attacked."

To Conway's point about the need to shift the media conversation to policy, the anchor made it clear that the show would have been leading with the topic of health care if Trump hadn't "gotten in his own way" and sent out yesterday's tweets. 

Trump has come under fire since launching the Twitter attack Thursday, when he called Brzezinski "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and said she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when she and "Psycho Joe" Scarborough asked to join him at his Florida home on New Year's Eve.

The co-hosts, who are engaged, delayed a planned vacation to respond on their Friday show. 

"This is absolutely nothing for me personally," said Brzezinski. "But I am very concerned as to what this once again reveals about the president of the United States." Scarborough added, "We’re OK, the country’s not. Yesterday was just another example of how deeply personal he is. He attacks women because he fears women."

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