President Donald Trump's aide Kellyanne Conway sharply rebuked "Meet The Press" moderator Chuck Todd over Inauguration Day crowd estimates, condemning the veteran journalist for calling the claims "ridiculous."
In a combative interview with the NBC News host, Conway was repeatedly pressed about Press Secretary Sean Spicer's assertion that inauguration attendance was the "largest…ever" – and his blast at the media's "irresponsible and reckless" coverage.
Todd called Spicer's assertions a "falsehood" that "undermines the credibility of the entire White House press office on day one" – but Conway mocked him for being "dramatic."
"Sean Spicer gave alternative facts to that," Conway said, to which Todd snapped back: "Alternative facts are not facts, they're falsehoods."
But when Todd later described Spicer's remarks as "ridiculous litigation of crowd size," Conway erupted.
"Chuck, your job is not [to] call things ridiculous," she declared. "You're a news person, not an opinion columnist… Think about what you just said to your viewers, that's why we feel compelled to go out and clear the air."
"All I'm looking for is an answer to a simple question," Todd concluded at the end of the tense interview. "You never answered why or the motivation of what was necessary about doing that yesterday."
"Tell me why you just referred to us as ridiculous. Why were we lied about," she jabbed back.
"I'm trying to ask basic questions, and you're attacking me with a weird Twitter feed that you're obsessed with," Todd replied. "You have another interview, I have the rest of the show."
During the fractious interchange, Conway at one point also rebuked Todd's laughing at one point, calling it "symbolic" of "the way we're treated by the press."
"The way you laughed at me is representative of the way we're represented by the press," she said. "We were mocked talking about the historic crowds for our campaigns. He brought in historic crowds and on great days we were ignored, and on most days we were mocked. Those crowds mattered, he built a movement. "
And when Todd probed Conway's assertion that there were "lies" published about Trump's rocky relationship with the intelligence community, she blamed CIA director John Brennan's comments.
"Do you think what the outgoing CIA director said, the language and vocabulary he used improves our relationship with the intelligence community," she said. "It is irresponsible."
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