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nice smile

RTÉ received "no significant feedback" about Donald Trump's calling-out of Caitriona Perry

Trump told the broadcaster’s Washington Correspondent that she has “a nice smile”, before telling the Taoiseach “I bet she treats you well”. / YouTube

RTÉ HAS RECEIVED “no significant feedback” regarding its Washington Correspondent Caitriona Perry being called out by President Donald Trump and told she has “a nice smile”.

Yesterday afternoon’s first phone call between Trump and new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first gay parliamentary leader, was a meeting of contrasts that has sparked worldwide headlines – but not for the reasons people might have expected in advance.

In singling out and calling over Perry, and in making reference to her “nice smile”, Trump has created a media storm around the world.


“We have a lot of your Irish press watching us just now in the room,” Trump said to Varadkar, before singling out Perry:

Where are you from? Go ahead, come here. We are all over this beautiful Irish press. Caitriona Perry. She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well.

RTÉ’s coverage of the phone call reported the incident in a somewhat low-key fashion (Perry did mention Trump’s actions in passing on the Nine O’Clock News last night during her report on the phone call – the reason for Irish media being in the Oval Office in the first place).

rte RTÉ Online RTÉ Online

Online meanwhile, on its entertainment site, RTÉ described the incident as Perry’s “Presidential moment”.

“RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent Caitríona Perry did her bit for the special relationship in the Oval Office on Tuesday when US President Donald Trump introduced her to new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar,” that piece reads.

Responding to a query from regarding the negative international coverage of the incident, an RTÉ spokesperson said that:

“There has been no significant feedback through direct contact to RTE aside from comments on social media.”

Caitriona Perry is an extremely professional and hard working journalist as demonstrated by her continued work and reporting.


For the mogul turned leader-of-the-free-world, the furore that ensued is a nigh-on daily occurrence. For Perry herself however, being the story rather than covering the story is hardly the norm.

As anyone used to following Trump’s media coverage might expect, international reaction to the interlude, which has utterly gazumped the actual phone call between the two leaders, has been somewhat, if not outright, condemnatory.

“It was creepy, it was gross, it was not a good look,” said Mashable.

“President Trump was on a diplomatic call. He paused it to single out a female reporter,” said Time Online.

trump Time Online Time Online

“Trump made a female reporter come over to his desk so he could comment on her looks,” said Buzzfeed.

The media coverage itself pales next to the explosion on social media, much of it dominated by replies (many apologetic, some wondering what the fuss is about) to Perry herself, who described the incident as being “bizarre” on Twitter:

twitter2 Twitter / Caitriona Perry Twitter / Caitriona Perry / Caitriona Perry

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