In an attempt to defend the tweets made by President Donald Trump telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from, White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway asked a Jewish White House reporter what his ethnicity was.

“What’s your ethnicity,” Conway asked Breakfast Media White House reporter Andrew Feinberg on Tuesday outside the White House. Her question came in response to Feinberg asking her “if the president was not telling these four congresswomen to return to their supposed countries of origin, to which countries was he referring?” Feinberg was following up on comments Conway had made earlier that the media was misinterpreting the tweets made by her boss.

Feinberg responded to Conway with another question, inquiring, “Why is that relevant?” Then, without being prompted, Conway shared that her own “ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.”

“He said originally,” Conway added, referring to Trump’s statements. “He said ‘originally from.’”

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Feinberg later said that he didn’t believe Conway was referring to his Jewish ancestry or being anti-Semitic but was “deflecting by asking my family’s ethnic background.”

Conway posted a tweet later defending her conversation with Feinberg, claiming, “This was meant with no disrespect.”

“We are all from somewhere else ‘originally,'” she said. “I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity: Italian and Irish. Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA & grateful to God to be an American.”

Conway’s comments are an attempt to defend the recent tweets made by Trump, which many have deemed racist and xenophobic. On Sunday the president wrote that a group of four progressive congresswomen, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” His suggestion caused outrage over its xenophobic nature and its implications that people of color are not loyal to the United States. His statement confused many as well, since three of the four representatives he was referring to were born in the United States, and all four of them are American citizens.

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