Kellyanne Conway: 'Election deniers' and 'naysayers' don't understand Trump's genius on Russia
Maria Bartiromo speaks to Kellyanne Conway (Fox News/screen grab)

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, said over the weekend that so-called "election deniers" and "naysayers" were wrong to complain about the new administration's ties to Russia.

In an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Conway defended Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who Trump has reportedly chosen for secretary of state in spite of his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I think in the case of Mr. Tillerson, you see someone who is not a typical politician or even a diplomat, you see a successful businessman," Conway opined. "This is the Trump effect. People who try to put Donald Trump in the conventional box are immediately and sorely disappointed."

Agreeing with Conway, Bartiromo called the pick "savvy." The Fox News host wondered, however, if Tillerson had "too good of a relationship with Vladimir Putin."

"These are skills, not liabilities," Conway insisted. "When you think about how he negotiates and how he deals with foreign leaders to get them to work with his American company, not against it. And of course, he's an oil man. He goes where the oil is. That's why you've seen him in places like Russia, China, Yemen, the developing world, certainly the Middle East."

"Those critics and naysayers, I think, are partly the election deniers and partly folks who just were not anticipating such an unconventional possibility."

Watch the video below from Fox News, broadcast Dec. 11, 2016.