President Donald Trump praised the smile of Irish reporter, Caitriona Perry, during a phone call with the new Prime Minister of Ireland.
Trump called Perry over and commented on her “nice smile” during a phone call with Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar.
Perry labeled the moment “bizarre” on Twitter and shared the video. It’s since become the talk of social media, with some Trump critics accusing the president of treating the Oval Office like a pageant stage.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Trump Beckoned Perry to Come Over & Commented That She had a ‘Nice Smile’
Perry posted the video on Twitter, along with this comment, “Video of the bizarre moment when President @realDonaldTrump called me over during his call with Taoiseach @campaignforLeo Varadkar. @rtenews.”
You can watch the video above.
“Well, we have a lot of your Irish press watching us. They’re just now leaving the room. And where are you from? Go ahead, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press. Where are you from?” Trump says.
“I’m from RTE….Caitriona Perry.”
“Caitriona Perry. She has a nice smile on her face. So, I bet she treats you well,” the President says.
The Hill notes that Perry can be heard laughing during the video.
2. Perry Is a Washington Correspondent for RTE News
Perry’s website bio says she “is an award-winning Irish journalist. She’s worked as a broadcast news correspondent since 2000 and is currently Washington Correspondent for Ireland’s national public service broadcaster, RTÉ, where she works across television, radio and digital platforms.”
On Twitter, Perry describes herself as “Washington Correspondent & US Bureau Chief with RTÉ News -Ireland. Love politics,cooking & running. All views my own. Irish in US.”
On Instagram, she describes herself as, “US Correspondent for RTE – Irish National Broadcaster.From Dublin, Ireland; now Washington, DC.”
Perry is married. A feature story in Evoke in 2016 reported that she moved to Washington D.C. with her husband two years before, noting, “She’s a ‘one-woman newsroom for a whole continent’ working 21 hour days, but RTE’s Washington Correspondent Caitriona Perry can’t get enough of her dream job.”
She isn’t only based in D.C., the Evoke story reported. Instead, she frequently travels throughout the country as RTE’s United States correspondent.
3. Perry Writes That the Key Ability of a Correspondent Is to ‘Climb Little Metal Ladders’ & She Would Like to Have Dinner With Bill Clinton
Perry posts frequently about her career on Instagram. In one recent post, she wrote, “Key skill for a TV correspondent…the ability to climb little metal ladders and steps on the sides of buildings and then stand on rooftops without getting too close to the edge. (Plus I seem to have brought the misty rainy Irish weather back to the US with me. Oops.)”
She also revealed that she is a House of Cards fan. “Very excited about the new season of @houseofcards coming to @netflix tomorrow. It was starting to feel a little far-fetched but now, well…hmmm. #lifeimitatingart or #artimitatinglife? #journalistsbewareoffrankunderwoodanddougstamper @realmichaelkelly.”
She also posted photos of herself at the Oscars.
Under another photo, she wrote, “Another box ticked on the Washington wishlist…a pic with #screech the eagle the @nationals mascot. #Irish Heritage Night at #Natspark #nats #nationals #mlb #baseball #youresomebird.”
In 2013, Perry, then 33, told The Irish Examiner she was “a fitness junkie. I run a lot that’s my thing. My best time for the marathon is 4hr 6mins. I also do swimming and cycling, Pilates, yoga and a bit of weight training. I’m always on the go.”
Asked whom she would invite to dinner if she could, she responded, “Bill Clinton — he’s got to have some great stories to tell; Steven Speilberg; Mary Robinson — she’s fantastic; Daniel Day Lewis — I think he’s a stunning actor.”
4. The Trump Comments Received Divergent Reactions on Social Media
The video of Trump’s comments to Perry took off on social media, but people had wildly different reactions to it.
Wrote one Trump critic, “Why focus on appearance? He’s always objectifying women. Beautiful should’ve never come up.”
And another, “Another day, another national/international embarrassment. Please accept the sincere apologies of all the sane citizens of America.”
And another, “Ok but can he not be a creep while doing it? Why do u supporters not condemn him when he does this sh*t? IT…WAS…CREEPY.”
Wrote a female Trump supporter: “And the lefties over react again. Getting desperate for things to criticize Trump for.”
And: “Awful lot of tsk-tsking from people who were fine with Uncle Joe’s shoulder-rubs and nuzzling of women for 8 years.”
And another supporter: “Can’t take a compliment Caitriona? Sad!”
5. Perry Went to College in Dublin & Has Reported Throughout the World
Perry’s website says that she “has significant editorial experience and has previously worked as a news anchor, presenter, documentary maker, producer, and programme editor.”
She has won awards for her journalism, according to the website, which notes: “She has won awards for her television and radio reportage, including most recently a National Justice Media Merit Award for TV News in June 2015.”
Perry went to college in Ireland.
“She has an Undergraduate Degree in Journalism (2002) and a Masters Degree in International Relations (2010), both awarded by Dublin City University, which recently named her as one of the University’s distinguished alumni. In addition to her home country of Ireland, Caitriona has reported on news stories across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Australia,” says the website.