Donald Trump's key adviser and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway wants the public to concentrate on what he feels rather than what he says. In an interview on CNN on 9 January, the president-elect's top aide defended Trump's comments on Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech and asked that he be given the benefit of the doubt.

Without directly naming him, the award-winning actress chided Trump for belittling a disabled journalist last year. "Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose," Streep said as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille Award.

Kellyanne Conway
Kellyanne Conway says the president-elect needs to be given the benefit of the doubt Joshua Roberts/ Reuters

In response, the New York real estate mogul posted a series of tweets describing her as a "Hillary flunky" and "one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood" before going on to explain that he was defending himself after the reporter changed an old story to make him "look bad".

"Why don't you believe him? Why is everything taken at face value?" Conway asked while on the New Day show. "You can't give him the benefit of the doubt on this, and he's telling you what was in his heart? You always want to go by what's come out of his mouth rather than look at what's in his heart."

In another appearance on Fox's Fox And Friends, Conaway expressed concern that the actress was "inciting people's worst instincts" about Trump rather than trying to support him. "We have to now form a government, and I'm concerned that somebody with a platform like Meryl Streep is also inciting people's worst instincts when she won't get up there and say, 'I didn't like it, but let's try to support him and see where we can find some common ground with him,'" she said.