Monday 20 November 2017

'I'm sorry you had to endure that' - Trump's 'nice smile' comments to RTE reporter Caitríona Perry cause a stir around the globe

US President Donald Trump with RTÉ’s Caitríona Perry
US President Donald Trump with RTÉ’s Caitríona Perry
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

RTE reporter Caitríona Perry's encounter with US President Donald Trump - which she has called "bizarre" - and which saw him compliment her "nice smile" as he spoke on the phone to Leo Varadkar, has unsurprisingly caused quite a stir.

Ms Perry, RTE's Washington correspondent, was in the Oval Office to film the start of the first call between the new Taoiseach and President Trump, when she caught the president's eye.

"We have a lot of your Irish press watching us right now," Mr Trump told Mr Varadkar, before turning to Ms Perry and summoning her to the Resolute Desk.

"We have here all of this beautiful Irish press. Where are you from?," he asked.

"Caitríona Perry, she has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well," he said. Trump went on to say: "He thanks you for the newspapers, Caitríona."

A clip of the interaction was uploaded by Ms Perry to Twitter and has caused a huge reaction around the world.

In the UK the Daily Mail Online is leading with the story and the reaction to it.

The Daily Telegraph is also featuring the story prominently on its website with the headline: "Did Donald Trump flirt with Irish reporter Caitríona Perry during diplomatic phone call?"

Ms Perry uploaded the video to her Twitter feed calling it a "bizarre" moment. Her tweet has been retweeted more than 8,000 times.

Dozens of American women have since apologised to her for the behaviour of Mr Trump.

"Ms.Perry, please accept the apology of at least 1 female American," one said.

"It's hell to be objectified. When POTUS has no fear of doing that surrounded by cameras... I'm so sorry. Your success is more than a smile," another wrote.

While another said:

"Remarks like that in workplace R completely inappropriate. There's a time & place: discussing one's attractiveness in workplace is wrong."

"I am sorry you had to endure that treatment," another Twitter user said.

The story has been picked up in Australia, as well as by a number of political publications in the US.

Speaking about the encounter to the Independent.ie's political editor, Ms Perry said her American colleagues thought the encounter was "hilarious", as Trump has such a fractious relationship with the media.

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