President Donald Trump interrupted his phone call with the prime minister of Ireland to beckon over a reporter and compliment her “nice smile.”
Trump began his phone call with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday morning in the Oval Office by congratulating the new leader on his “great victory” before turning his attention to a female reporter in the room.
“Well, we have a lot of your Irish press watching us. They're just now leaving the room. And where are you from?” Trump said during the call, pointing at reporter Caitríona Perry, the Washington Correspondent and U.S. Bureau Chief for Ireland's state public-service broadcaster RTÉ News.
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“Go ahead, come here, where are you from?” he said, waving Perry to come over.
“We have all of this beautiful Irish press, where are you from?” the president said.
Perry introduced herself and approached Trump.
“Caitríona Perry. She has a nice smile on her face, so I bet she treats you well,” he said to the prime minister, laughing.
Perry walked away and laughed along with others in the room, but shared video of the moment later on Twitter, calling her encounter with the president a “bizarre moment.”
"One minute we were outside the window and the next minute I'm meeting the President of the United States," Perry told RTÉ Entertainment.
"Usually we would shoot from outside the window of the White House and that's what we were expecting today but instead we were invited inside to witness the president's call to the Taoiseach,” she added, referring to the Irish term for prime minister. “When we went in he was already on the phone but I caught his eye and he called me over."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The encounter was met with an outcry on social media, with some critics calling Trump’s behavior inappropriate.