President Trump was at his desk in the Oval Office and on the phone with the new prime minister of Ireland on Tuesday when a journalist for an Irish news organization caught his eye.
“Well, we have a lot of your Irish press watching us,” Mr. Trump said to the prime minister, Leo Varadkar, as several reporters looked on.
Then, interrupting his conversation with Mr. Varadkar, Mr. Trump pointed at the journalist, Caitriona Perry, and gestured for her to come to him.
“And where are you from?” he said. “Go ahead. Come here, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press.”
After she introduced herself, Mr. Trump told Mr. Varadkar, “She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well.”
The exchange, which was captured on video and widely shared on social media, drew criticism about how Mr. Trump treats women and the message it sent about the attitude toward women as professionals in their fields.
Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, said on Wednesday that she had heard about the episode in passing.
After a transcript of the exchange was read to her over the phone, she said: “Oh, Lord. I wish I could say this is a surprise.”
She said such occurrences were not limited to Mr. Trump, adding that female journalists are frequently called out for their appearance, their hair and the way they dress.
Comments like the president’s detract from a woman’s value as a professional, she said.
“We absolutely do not see that happening with male reporters,” she said. “I don’t know what the solution to this is. It does need to be called out. It does need to stop.”
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