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Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager for Donald Trump, left, looks towards Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, prior to a forum at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Trump's and Clinton's campaign managers sounded off on fake news, emails and the 'hot mic'


Robby Mook and Kellyanne Conway, campaign managers for Hillary Clinton and President-elect Donald Trump, clashed on CNN in an interview aired Sunday morning.

The two shared stories from the campaign trail and how their candidates responded, with plenty of barbs aimed at each other and the election as a whole. This was part of a forum on Thursday in which Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri accused the Trump campaign of winning by "providing a platform for white supremacists." 

Conway raised eyebrows by saying Trump tweeting falsehoods was "presidential" by default.

This was in response to moderator Jake Tapper's criticism that Trump tweeted falsely that "millions of people who voted illegally" gave Clinton her lead in the popular vote. He had no evidence for that claim.

Conway said Trump considers Twitter a "very good platform" that lets people see stories that "otherwise would not be heard," but did not address the fact that Trump did not have evidence. 

Here are her full remarks.

This was the most overhyped, over-litigated story in the history of American politics. Full stop.
Robby Mook

Mook had scathing criticism for the response to Clinton's email scandal, which led Trump to insist Clinton should be in jail while on the campaign trail (but less so since the election).

Here are Mook's full comments.

Fake news

Mook said fake news was a "huge problem" in the campaign and called for a Congressional investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, claiming 17 national security agencies said Russia was involved in hacks and proliferating certain stories.

Conway insisted, "The biggest piece of fake news was that Donald Trump couldn't win" and accused major media outlets of being "fake." She said she didn't know if Russia was truly involved.

The role of gender

Mook also said Clinton's status as the first female major-party candidate was a key focus of the campaign, but admitted the campaign expected better support from suburban women.

Conway poked fun at Mook, asking, "Where are all the women [supporting Clinton at marches and rallies]?"

Mook responded, "They volunteered for our campaign."

The lowlight moments

Both managers were asked about arguably the candidate's biggest gaffe or scandal. 

Conway said internal data showed Clinton calling Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables" had the most significant impact on undecided voters. But she also said Trump's "hot mic" scandal had the biggest impact on his polling data. 

Mook insisted FBI Director James Comey's letter citing the discovery of new emails from Clinton's private server played a pivotal role.

But he also acknowledged the "deplorables" comment was a mistake.

Conway also said Bernie Sanders would have been a tougher opponent than Clinton.

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WATCH | Here's the audio from the rest of the Harvard forum, during which Palmiera blasted the Trump campaign. Her remarks accusing the Trump campaign of giving a platform for white supremacy begin at 1:12.

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