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Conway dismisses questions about Trump stoking 'fear,' likens it to 'Sesame Street's' 'word of the day'

NBC News logo NBC News 10/24/2018 Adam Edelman

Kellyanne Conway wearing a red shirt and smiling at the camera: Kellyanne Conway is shown in the White House briefing room. © Nicholas Kamm Kellyanne Conway is shown in the White House briefing room. This story was brought to you by the letters F, E, A, and R.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday dismissed questions about whether President Donald Trump is stoking fear by making baseless claims about the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico by invoking the famed children's show "Sesame Street."

"I saw that 'fear' is one of your Sesame Grover words of the day," Conway told reporters outside the White House.

Conway, pressed by NBC News about whether Trump's claims that people from the Middle East are part of the caravan, a statement for which he has provided no evidence and later said he had "no proof," amounted to "fearmongering," added that the caravan "is a very serious issue."

Moments later, Conway defended Trump's claim.

"He doesn't tell you everything he knows, he's the President of the United States. I promise you he knows more than you do and than I do on any given day about this information. There's a constant flow of individuals trying to come over the border," she said.

Her remarks come as Trump has escalated his rhetoric about illegal immigration and the caravan ahead of next month's midterm elections. Trump in recent days has suggested that Democrats are somehow helping to fund the caravan and that it has triggered a "national emergency." He also tweeted Monday that "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in" the caravan, before saying Tuesday that "there's no proof of anything" to support his earlier claim.

He doubled down on his criticism of the caravan Wednesday morning, tweeting about immigration issues in Europe and said that the U.S. has "strong borders and will never accept people coming into our country illegally."

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