- The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on Tuesday defended President Donald Trump’s calling female reporters things like “loser” and “stupid.”
- Sanders said Trump had “contentious conversations” with male reporters as well and that he was simply treating women equally.
- Trump has made several comments about the physical appearance and intelligence of female reporters working in the White House.
- He has also sparred with male reporters, though many – both men and women – have said he treats women differently.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said President Donald’s Trump’s “contentious conversations” with female reporters, several of whom he has described with words like “stupid” or “loser,” happen because he treats women equally.
At Politico’s Women Rule Summit on Tuesday, the reporter Eliana Johnson asked Sanders whether the president’s sometimes demeaning language toward women was OK.
“As a professional woman, do you think that’s appropriate?” Johnson said.
Sanders responded that Trump “has had an equal number of contentious conversations with your male colleagues.”
“Women wanted to be treated equally, and we have a president that certainly does that,” Sanders said. “He is not going to hold back, and the people in this country elected him in large part because he’s a fighter.”
11 insults Trump has hurled at women
In June, Trump called the CBS journalist Weijia Jiang “obnoxious” and told her to be quiet as she attempted to ask him a question outside the White House.
In October, he mocked Cecilia Vega of ABC and said she “never” thinks.
Though Trump has sparred with male reporters as well, critics have taken issue with the way he has dismissed women in particular.
In November, when the CNN reporter Abby Phillip asked whether the president hoped the new acting attorney general would “rein in” the Russia investigation, Trump responded, “You ask a lot of stupid questions.”
That same month, he called the White House correspondent and political analyst April Ryan a “loser” and “nasty.” Ryan has said Trump treats nonwhite female reporters differently from white male reporters.
Trump has criticised the appearance of the MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski and the former Fox News and NBC host Megyn Kelly. He has also been criticised for interrupting presidential work to compliment female reporters on their appearance.
Brian Karem, Playboy’s White House correspondent, told CNN in October that Trump’s treatment of female reporters was part of his wider distaste for the press, adding that “there is a problem” with the way Trump treats women, “whether it’s reporters or just females in general.”
Trump has also sparred with male reporters, though his responses have tended to focus on their questions and conduct rather than their appearance or ability.
In April, he said a question from ABC News’ White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, was “stupid.” Most notably, Trump has railed against CNN’s Jim Acosta, calling him “very rude” and last month trying to revoke his access to the White House.
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