Live

Watch CBSN Live

Trump campaign manager: Clinton, Obama must quell post-election protests

Thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest Donald Trump’s election as president -- and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that it’s the responsibility of President Obama and Hillary Clinton to quell the protests, not Trump.

“We all know if the shoe was on the other foot and Hillary Clinton had won, which is what all the media were expecting, if not hoping for, then we know that if there were protesters, if there were two Donald Trump protesters somewhere, people would be freaking out that his supports were not accepting election results,” Conway told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s time really for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to say to these protesters, ‘This man is our president.’”

Conway’s comments came in response to a question about outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s statement on Friday, in which he said Trump needed to take “responsibility” for the hateful rhetoric of some of Trump’s supporters during the campaign.

“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” Reid said in his statement. “Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.”

Both Clinton and Obama have struck a conciliatory tone toward Trump in the wake of his victory Tuesday night. In her concession speech Wednesday morning in New York, Clinton said all Americans owe Trump “an open mind and the chance to lead,” saying her supporters “must accept this result and then look to the future.” In a separate speech Wednesday, President Obama urged people to “remember that we are all on the same team.”

Conway said Sunday that Trump won a “decisive victory” in the Electoral College -- and said he has a “mandate” to govern, despite losing the popular vote to Clinton.

“We see loudly and clearly that this country not only gave Donald Trump a decisive victory of over 300 electoral votes,” she said. “It was not a squeaker, folks. They gave him a Republican House and Senate, a majority of Republican governorships, and 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers. This is a mandate.”

Conway said both Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, who are under consideration for chief of staff, will play “very important roles” in Trump’s administration -- and told “Fox News Sunday” that despite Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric toward Washington, that he will include experienced political hands in his administration as well as newcomers to politics like himself.

“These are people who are talented and who have done this before,” Conway said. “You can’t just appoint novices. You have to have people who know what they’re doing.”