Washington: When reporter Caitriona Perry attended a press briefing with US President Donald Trump she probably didn’t expect it would spark a debate about workplace sexism.
The RTE Washington correspondent was at the Oval Office on Tuesday to cover a diplomatic phone call between the US leader and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. But as the two leaders discussed Mr Varadkar’s new position, and the number of Irish migrants in the US, Mr Trump interrupted the call to compliment Ms Perry’s smile, as reported by BBC.
The exchange on social media has been retweeted more than 8,000 times and has sparked a discussion between supporters and critics of the US President. Some described the US President as a ‘creeper’, while others argued his comments were a compliment.
Ms Perry has described the exchange as ‘bizarre’ in a 25-second clip posted by the reporter on Twitter. It begins with Mr Trump mentioning the number of Irish reporters present.
“Well we have a lot of your Irish press watching us right now.” He said, “We have all of this beautiful Irish press here.”
Mr Trump pointed to Ms Perry and beckoned her over, “Come here, come here, where are you from?”
“RTE news, Caitriona Perry,” she replied.
“She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well,” Mr Trump told Mr Varadkar on the phone, as Ms Perry laughed and returned to her seat. In an article by the RTE, the reporter described, “We were invited inside to witness the President’s call to the Taoiseach. When we went in, he was already on the phone but I must have caught his eye and he called me over.”