All-female CNN panel reacts to Trump's 'nice smile' comment
Posted June 28
An all-female CNN panel offered an array of explanations Wednesday after President Donald Trump told a female reporter she had a "nice smile."
The President, who has feuded bitterly with the US media since taking office, made the comment while on the phone with new Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday.
"We have a lot of your Irish press watching us," he said to Varadkar. He then beckoned to Irish reporter Caitr-ona Perry, the US bureau chief for RT- News. "We have all of this beautiful Irish press," Trump said, then added, "She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well."
Perry later described the experience as a "bizarre moment." When CNN's Kate Bolduan brought up the incident with her panel, which consisted of three women, two of them were in firm agreement.
"I would describe this as how Donald Trump always acts when there are women in the room. It was condescending. It was just creepy," said Symone Sanders, a former press secretary to Bernie Sanders and a Democratic strategist.
She added: "Why is the President of the United States picking out reporters who just happen to be aesthetically pleasing and calling them over and telling them they've got a nice smile? It's just absolutely disgusting."
Republican strategist Ana Navarro, whose furious response to Trump's comments on the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape went viral back in October, was also shocked by Trump's comments to Perry, though she offered a more resigned response.
"I've got so many issues with Donald Trump, starting with his lying ways, than the fact he ogles at women. I've come to just accept it as it is what it is," she told the panel, before noting, "This is a guy who ran beauty pageants. He likes women. This is the way he acts."
Bolduan then turned to Nan Hayworth, a former Republican congresswoman and a member of the Donald. J Trump for President Advisory Board.
"The President has incredible charm and naturalness. This was just Donald Trump being President Trump and also the kind of guy who will notice when someone has a lovely smile," Hayworth argued.
"I don't think there's any harm to it. I think it is another way of kind of bringing the world to a level of grace and reality in some ways," she insisted.
Bolduan then turned to Sanders for the last word.
"Never forget the President grabbed vaginas, and he talked about it afterwards," retorted Sanders, a reference to the President's "Access Hollywood" comments.