MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday slammed White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for asking a reporter his ethnicity by saying that if she had done the same thing, she would have been “fired on the spot.”
When asked by Breakfast Media reporter Andrew Feinberg about the specific countries that President Donald Trump was referring to when he urged four progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries “from which they came,” Conway replied with a bizarre question: “What’s your ethnicity?”
“Why is that relevant,” Feinberg fired back. “My own ethnicity is not relevant to the question I’m asking.”
“No, it is,” Conway said. “Because you’re asking about. He said originally, originally from, and you know everything he has said since.”
Wallace opened Deadline: White House on Tuesday by declaring that America is still “waiting to see if Republicans, or even a single Republican, will come out against racism today.”
“It should not be hard to lend your name and your vote to a resolution that says immigrants make America stronger,” the host continued, “America still welcomes those who lawfully seek refuge from violence in their home countries and that Donald Trump’s racist attacks on four female members of Congress deserves universal condemnation.”
“That vote, scheduled for a few hours from now, does not at this moment have any public support from elected Republicans… which means the party of Donald Trump, that is now the party of grabbing the bleep, will also officially be a party that turns a blind eye to racist attacks from the president on fellow lawmakers,” Wallace added, before turning to condemn Conway’s remarks.
“As a former White House staffer who stood in that spot and spoke on behalf of a president, I’m fairly confident that I would have been fired on the spot for demanding that a reporter disclose his or her ethnicity to me before I answer his question,” said Wallace, who served as the White House Communication Director during the George W. Bush presidency and in his 2004 re-election campaign.
Following the exchange with Conway, Feinberg told Newsweek that he found the White House aide’s comments “bizarre,” especially in light of the comments coming directly after she denied “that the president’s ‘go back’ tweet had anything to do with race or ethnicity.”
Conway later responded to criticisms of her remarks in a tweet, where she said her comments were “meant with no disrespect.”
“We are all from somewhere else ‘originally’. I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity: Italian and Irish,” she added. “Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA & grateful to God to be an American.”