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Kellyanne Conway asks reporter’s ethnicity as she defends Trump’s racist remarks

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway spoke with reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway spoke with reporters at the White House on Tuesday.(Alex Brandon/AP)

NEW YORK — White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says she meant no disrespect in asking a reporter to reveal his ethnicity.

Her question came during an informal press gathering Tuesday when reporter Andrew Feinberg asked her about President Donald Trump’s tweets regarding freshmen Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar. Feinberg wondered what countries Trump was referring to when he suggested the American politicians should return to their countries of origin.

Conway replied, ‘‘What’s your ethnicity?’’

After a brief pause, Feinberg asked why that was relevant to his question.

Conway, who said she is of Italian and Irish descent, tweeted later that she was trying to make the point that ‘‘We are all from somewhere else ‘originally.’’’

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Feinberg works for the technology publication Breakfast Media.