President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter’s intelligence during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, claiming that she was in a “state of shock” because he called on her to ask a question.
“She’s shocked that I picked her,” Trump said of the reporter, Cecilia Vega of ABC News. “She’s like in a state of shock.”
Vega denied the president’s assertion: “No, I’m not. Thank you, Mr. President.” But Trump continued to taunt her.
“That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” the president muttered.
Vega, visibly taken aback, seemed to ask Trump to repeat what he’d said. But Trump brushed off her request, telling her to just “go ahead” with her question.
Vega then attempted to ask Trump about the FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Trump said he wouldn’t discuss the probe until more questions were asked about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement ― a revised trade deal among those three countries, and the subject of the news conference.
Trump eventually came back to Vega’s question on Kavanaugh, though not before belittling another female reporter, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who also attempted to ask about the Kavanaugh investigation.
“Don’t do that,” Trump interrupted Collins. “That’s not nice… Do you have a question on trade?”
After pointing out that her colleagues had already asked several trade-related questions, Collins continued with her question about Kavanaugh. But Trump ignored her, telling one of his staffers to pass the microphone to another reporter.
Eventually, when asked at the press conference whether the White House is limiting the scope of the Kavanaugh probe, Trump said “whatever” the Senate decides is “OK” with him.
Vega later sent out a pointed message on Twitter.
“A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment,” she wrote.
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.