On Sunday morning, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump about criticism of his treatment of female reporters.
The business mogul responded with an awkward answer that included assuring the audience that Todd is “far from a woman” and that he would never treat NBC’s Andrea Mitchell like he’s treated Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
Todd referenced a Thursday story in The Washington Post that chronicled many of Trump’s instances of disparaging female reporters during his 2016 campaign — foremost, his treatment of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
Trump said he hadn’t seen the report.
“I think I’ve been tougher on you than any other human being on earth in terms of reporter,” Trump told Todd, who added that his wife agrees with Trump’s sentiment.
“I’m tougher on you than anybody,” Trump continued.
Trump has berated Todd for years on Twitter. In a string of tweets stretching from 2012 to 2015, Trump called Todd “sleepy eyes” at least nine times. Trump also dismissed Todd as a “dummy” and predicted the NBC host would be “fired like a dog” for not getting better ratings on “Meet the Press.”
During his Sunday interview with Trump, Todd insisted there’s a perception that the candidate does indeed treat female reporters differently. He asked how Trump could get rid of that perception, which he said might be “a Megyn Kelly situation.”
Trump maintained that his complaints about Kelly were founded. Kelly was one of the three moderators of the first Fox News-hosted primary debate in August. At the time, Kelly asked Trump a pointed question about disparaging comments he’s made about women’s looks.
It was inappropriate, and I hit her hard, and I think that’s fine,” Trump said of Kelly at that debate. “But if you gave me that question, I’d hit you the same way. I mean, you are the perfect one to ask that question — you have been, you know, under fire from me for a long time and you are far from a woman. That I can tell you.”
“Well, that is a fact,” Todd responded jokingly.
Trump then continued to insist he hadn’t heard of or seen the story. He added that he only reserves such negative treatment for some women, and pointed to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to assure her he wouldn’t say similar things to her.
“There’s one sitting right over there in the beautiful red dress,” Trump said. “You see that woman over there? I have great respect for that woman over there. … I have great respect for that woman. And I don’t know that she knows I’m talking about her. I’m talking about you. I would never do that to you. … I am referring to Andrea.”