While making a congratulatory call to newly elected Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the son of an Indian immigrant and Ireland’s first gay prime minister, President Donald Trump praised the physical attributes of a female Irish reporter in a moment she later described as “bizarre.”
During the Tuesday call in the Oval Office, Trump told Varadkar that there were members of the Irish press observing their conversation.
“We have a lot of Irish press watching us. Where are you from?” he said, pointing to Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ News’ Washington correspondent Caitriona Perry.
“Come here, Come here,” Trump says as he gestures with his finger for Perry to her to come closer to his desk. “Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press.”
“Catriona Perry,” Trump repeated. “She has a nice smile on her face. So I bet she treats you well,” he added with a laugh.
Perry later tweeted a video of the encounter, describing it as the “bizarre moment when President Donald Trump called me over during his call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.”
— Caitriona Perry (@CaitrionaPerry) June 27, 2017
President Trump has a reputation for remarking on women’s looks, commenting on the appearance of journalists like Megyn Kelly, of political rivals like Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina, and of his own daughter Ivanka Trump.
During the presidential campaign, Trump came under fire for a series of lewd and sexist remarks. These included comments body-shaming Miss Universe pageant winner Alicia Machado, when he owned the pageant show, boasting about committing sexual assault on tapes from Access Hollywood, and remarking on The Apprentice contestants’ appearance and attractiveness.
In an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump, then the star of the show, was told how one of the contestants, American model Brande Roderick, dropped to her knees to beg for forgiveness. “Excuse me, you dropped to your knees?” Trump asked Roderick. “Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”