Hillary Clinton appeared to be caught off guard Friday by a question about the most meaningful conversation she has had with an African-American friend, responding with a winding answer about having a lot of black friends.
The moment occurred after the editor-in-chief of ESPN's Undefeated, Kevin Merida, asked, "What is the most meaningful conversation you've had with an African-American friend?"
Clinton, who had agreed to take some questions from the audience after her address to the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Washington, D.C., took a moment to respond.
"Oh my gosh," she said. "Well, can I tell you I am blessed to have a crew of great friends, um, and I've had two chiefs-of-staff who were my African-American women friends, Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills.
"I have been blessed to have people by my side in politics, like [longtime Clinton insider] Minyon Moore, who's one of the leaders of my campaign. I've had a great group of young people, who I have been really motivated by and, frankly, learned from. So I really have had a lifetime of friendship, going back to my college years when one of my best friends was an African-American student."
She continued, and said it'd be difficult to "compress" all of her experiences with her African-American friends into one meaningful one.
"They've supported me, they've chastised me, they've raised issues with me, they've tried to expand my musical tastes," she said to applause and laughter. "So we've had a lot of great, great times because of our friendships, so I can't really pick one conversation out of, you know, 50 years of conversation."
She then took a moment to point out her black acquaintances in the audience, including Peggy Lewis, dean of communications at Trinity Washington, and acting chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile.
"So I guess I'll leave it at that. I'm going to respect the cone of friendship silence. But please know I've got a lot of great friends who've given me so much more," she concluded.