Trump admires female reporter's "nice smile" during call with Irish leader Leo Varadkar
President Donald Trump, on a phone call with Irish leader Leo Varadkar, commented on how Irish RTÉ News journalist Caitriona Perry has a "nice smile" and how "I bet she treats you well."
In a video posted by RTÉ News, Trump said, "Congratulations on your great victory. We have so many people from Ireland in this country, I know so many of them, I feel I know all of them."
"But I just wanted to congratulate you, that was a great victory that you had," he added. "... We have a lot of your Irish press watching us, they're just now leaving the room."
"And where are you from?" Trump asked Perry. "Go ahead, come here, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press."
After Perry said she worked RTÉ News, Trump added "She has a nice smile on her face. So I bet she treats you well."
While the Hill noted Perry "appeared to take the exchange in good humor and can be heard laughing," the incident seemed uncomfortable at best, and for good reason.
Trump's long-documented mistreatment of women came under fire during the campaign season. The New York Times reporting in 2016 it had interviewed dozens of women who interacted with Trump and found a pattern of alleged sexual harassment. Later in the campaign, the Washington Post discovered a now-infamous video of Trump apparently bragging about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them "by the pussy" during a taping of Access Hollywood, causing widespread outrage.
So this probably wasn't the best foot for the president to put forward while congratulating the newly minted Varadkar.