Donald Trump sparked a social media freakout when he took time out from a phone call with new Irish leader Leo Varadkar to admire a female reporter who was working the event in the Oval Office.
RTE Washington correspondent Caitriona Perry, one of a number of members of the Irish press who were on hand to cover the phone call, posted a video of the incident on her Twitter account, which you can see by clicking here.
In the clip, Trump can be seen on the phone when he motions for Perry to come up to his desk and offers a series of comments presumably intended as compliments. “She has a nice smile on her face,” he tells Varadkar. “I bet she treats you well.” Perry and others respond with mild laughter and Perry walks away from Trump’s desk.
Perry calls it a “bizarre moment” in her Twitter post, which you can see below. But other Twitter users framed the incident in far more negative terms. Here are a few samples from the comments in response to Perry’s post:
- “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.”
- “Remarks like that in workplace R completely inappropriate. There’s a time & place: discussing one’s attractiveness in workplace is wrong.”
- “SO very gross! OMG! I am so sad for all the women who must interact with him. SO DISGUSTING! #notmypresident #NOCLASS #PREDATOR”
- “Do these women have any dignity?… he’s so gross, I’d feign sickness not to see or hear him”
- “His wife defends him. She should be forced to be around him at all times. The other females have real work to do. Hope Colbert caught that.”
- “Repulsive. This sexual predator is using his power to blatantly abuse a woman on-camera. Anyone who thinks this is ok needs to wake the F up”
- “I couldn’t understand what he said. He’s on the level of a 14 yr old boy. Gross.”