President Donald Trump has previously enjoyed perhaps more support—or at least forbearance—in Ireland than in some other countries around the world, thanks in no small part to his significant investments in the cash-strapped country.
However his astonishing objectification of a female news reporter employed by Ireland’s state public-service broadcaster has dismayed observers across the board in the Republic.
Trump was making a congratulatory phone call to Ireland’s new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on Tuesday, when he beckoned to RTÉ’s Washington correspondent, Caitriona Perry, telling her to “come here” during the call.
Trump was heard saying, “Hello how are you?... Congratulations on your great victory. We have so many people from Ireland in this country. I know so many of them, too. I feel I know all of them. But I just want to congratulate you. That was a great victory that you had.”
Trump continued: “We have a lot of your Irish press watching us... they are just now leaving the room.”
Trump then singled out Perry, saying, “Where are you from, come here, come here, where are you from?”
Perry ventured gingerly over to his desk.
“We have all of this beautiful Irish press. Where are you from?” he asked the reporter again.
After telling the president who she was and which news outlet she represented, Trump told Varadkar: “Caitriona Perry, she has a nice smile on her face, so I bet she treats you well.”
Perry retreated back to the press corps and later described the incident on Twitter as a “bizarre moment.”
Other commentators were less generous.