White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has spoken out after a photograph of her kneeling on a sofa in the Oval Office prompted criticism in some quarters.
She said she "meant no disrespect" and did not mean to have her feet on the furniture as she took photographs of representatives from historically black colleges and universities who were gathered in the President's office.
It followed criticism from hundreds of people towards the gaffe prone Ms Conway.
Ms Conway told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight show that she had to sit in that position in order to take a photograph of the crowded room at a certain angle.
“I was very busy today and didn’t follow a lot of it, but I know there are a couple of reports at least showing what happened," she said. "And what happened is we had the largest gathering of men and women to date in the Oval Office for a picture.
“I was being asked to take a picture in a crowded room with the press behind us. I was asked to take a certain angle and was doing exactly that. I certainly meant no disrespect, I didn’t mean to have my feet on the couch.”
Ms Conway then flipped the criticism on its head to suggest the outrage over her having her feet on the sofa could be a “positive thing” because it had provoked a conversation “outwardly talking about greater respect" for the current President.
“If we started the trend here, where people are outwardly talking about greater respect for the Office of the President and its current occupant, then perhaps that’s something positive that came out. But I of course meant no disrespect,” she said.
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Arguing that the negative backlash against her came from a anti-Trump journalist, Ms Conway added: “This came from a journalist that is not happy that Donald Trump is the President. But I just want people to focus on the great work of the HBCU presidents and how honoured we were to have them here.”
While the photograph received a widely negative reaction on social media — with one person suggesting Ms Conway was “raised by wolves” — others were quick to point out that Barack Obama often propped his heels up on the office desk and table during his presidency.
During Mr Trump's short time, Ms Conway has been criticised for suggesting that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had used "alternative facts" when describing the size of the crowd at Mr Trump's inauguration.
She was also "counselled" after advising people to "go buy Ivanka's stuff" after the President's daughter's fashion and jewelry line was dropped by a chain of department stores.Reuse content