During a Rose Garden news conference called to highlight the revamped US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter telling her that she “never” thinks even before she had a chance to ask her question. (Oct. 1)
President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter in the Rose Garden on Monday, telling her she “never” thinks before asking a question, one of several slights to female journalists during a sprawling press conference.
Trump called on Cecilia Vega, a White House reporter for ABC News, before musing about her aloud.
“She’s shocked that I picked her,” said Trump as a flock of staffers behind him — mostly men — smiled or laughed. “She’s, like, in a state of shock.”
“I’m not,” Vega said, rising from her seat. “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Trump, apparently mishearing “thank you” as “thinking,” responded with a seemingly unprovoked jab: “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
(A White House transcript alleges Trump said “not thanking,” a non-sequitur given Vega had said “thank you” immediately prior.)
Vega answered, “I’m sorry?”
“No, go ahead.” Trump said, before a pause ensued. “Go ahead.”
“What does that have to do with trade?” Trump said. “I don’t mind answering the question. But, you know, I’d like to do the trade questions, too.”
He later circled back to Vega in a press conference that also found Trump deriding other female reporters. He wagged his finger at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, shouting “Don’t do that!” as she questioned him about Kavanaugh. He later cut off another journalist as she asked about mass shootings, as Aaron Ruper of ThinkProgress noted.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 1, 2018
Vega later alluded to the exchange with Trump in a tweet: “A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment.”
Trump eventually weighed in on his Supreme Court pick’s alleged drunkenness in college and high school, with the president exclaiming that he himself would have been a “mess” had he ever developed a drinking habit.
“Can you imagine if I had, what a mess I’d be?” Trump said. “I’d be the world’s worst.”
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
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