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Kellyanne Conway says "Donald Trump didn't divide the country"

A day after more than half a million women showed up to protest in Washington and record crowds attended similar marches across the globe, a top aide to President Donald Trump said he’s not responsible for the deep divisions in the country and that he is actively trying to unify it.

“He hears and sees a country that is divided,” senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “He didn’t -- Donald Trump didn’t divide the country, but as president he has a great opportunity to help heal and unify it.”

She said Mr. Trump made an effort in his inaugural address, which promised an end to the “American carnage,” was a “unifying” address meant to reach out to people who disagree with him.

“President Trump took a couple of really big steps forward In his inaugural address -- it was uplifting, it was unifying, he did try to reach across and engage people who did not vote for him who maybe disagree with him politically and otherwise,” she said, adding that he’d met with Martin Luther King III in New York last week for a “constructive” conversation.

She denounced the “vulgar” comments from some at the Women’s March on Washington, including Madonna, saying there was no need for such “negative” comments.

“You had profanity-laced, vulgar comments coming from celebrities,” she said. “Donald Trump in his inaugural address talked about the forgotten man, now these forgotten celebrities came to Washington to deliver really negative messages.”

Mr. Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to imply that the women’s march protesters didn’t vote in November, then shortly afterward tweeted that he recognizes their right to protest.

Asked why the first action White House press secretary Sean Spicer took in the briefing room Saturday was to denounce reporters over reported crowd sizes at the inauguration, Conway said he’ll be speaking on “any number of issues” going forward but that the discussion about crowd sizes was “disappointing.”

“Yesterday it was just disappointing to get into this argument about crowd control,” she said. “Nielsen said 31 million people witnessed Donald Trump’s inauguration on the television, we know many other millions of Americans are watching events like this on different screens.”

She added that perhaps the forecast of rain kept people from showing up to the inauguration in person.

“We know there was a prediction of rain, big rainout, that probably deterred people from coming,” she said. “But all that said there were hundreds of thousands of people here -- we all saw it.”

Asked by moderator John Dickerson why the White House felt the need to litigate an issue so “petty” in comparison to the other issues facing the country, Conway said it’s because it is a “symbol” for how the Trump team is treated by the press.

“I think it’s a symbol for how we’re covered and treated by many in the press john and that’s unfortunate,” she said, referring to an incident in which a pool reporter mistakenly said the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. “...You can’t have false reports like that and expect us not to you know wonder why were covered and treated so differently and unfairly.”

As for why he addressed the issue of the press at a venue as serious as the CIA headquarters on Saturday, Conway said he also talked about “important things” during his visit.

“Frankly him going to the CIA at all shows -- represents how serious he is about having a very productive and constructive relationship with our intelligence community,” she said. “We had over 1,000 requests for folks to attend, that we can only accommodate three- or four-hundred.”

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