RTE’s US correspondent Catriona Perry told Ryan Tubridy it was “bizarre” when US President Donald Trump told her she had ‘a nice smile.’
“It was probably more like an eye-roll type moment. I didn’t do that because I’m a professional,” she said on the Late Late Show last night.
The Irish journalist recalled the moment last June when she was in the Oval Office in the White House to witness the president begin a telephone conversation with the newly appointed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
President Trump, who beckoned her to his desk with his finger, asked Ms Perry her name and where she was from. He then told the Taoiseach
"She has a nice smile on her face. I bet she treats you well."
Ms Perry said the US media replayed the footage of the encounter on television and many pundits complained he had demeaned her.
When asked about being beckoned by Trump’s finger, she said:
“Honestly, I was thinking ‘this is a bit bizarre,’” she said, but as he was the President of the United States she approached his desk.
“It was also bizarre as of course I would love a one on one with the president to question him about all his policies and everything else that he does but that was not the time and place.
“I was walking up thinking where is this going….It was just very bizarre,” she said.
“Honestly, it was no big deal.”
Asked by Tubridy if she felt flattered or insulted, she said “Neither. I’m around the president a lot. I know how he behaves. I know what he says. He comes out with stuff like that.”
She also said: “Can I point out that the person giggling was not me. People thought that was me. It was the Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.”
Her book ‘In America – Tales from Trump Country’ is currently on sale.
She was joined on the Late Late Show sofa by Keelin Shanley and both women said they looked forward to being joint anchors on the Six One RTE television news.