President Donald Trump laced into Cecilia Vega on Monday after the ABC reporter attempted to ask a question during a Rose Garden press conference, prompting accusations of sexism.
“She’s shocked that I picked here. She’s, like, in a state of shock,” Trump chuckled after he called on her.
“I’m not, thank you Mr. President,” she said.
“That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” the president responded.
Trump calls on Cecilia Vega of ABC News. He says that she's shocked that he picked her. Then he adds, "That's OK. I know you're not thinking. You never do." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/FnrIDeyqyN
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 1, 2018
Trump’s comment prompted some nervous laughter from those standing around him. Vega went on to attempt to ask a question about the Brett Kavanaugh nomination before the president cut her off saying he would only initially take questions about trade, tariffs and the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement.
He later returned to Vega for a her question about Kavanaugh.
A rep for Vega at ABC declined to comment on the matter, but the reporter herself weighed in on Twitter by offering only a reminder about the first amendment.
“A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment,” she said.
A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) October 1, 2018
Trump’s barb toward Vega sparked immediate accusations on Twitter of sexism, a charge which has haunted the president for decades.
“We’re so far beyond dog whistles. The president is just saying that a woman reporter is ‘not thinking’ and ‘never does,’” says BuzzFeed legal reporter Chris Geidner — assuming the worst.
Complicity in the president’s sexism, as seen in the smiles on their faces when Trump tells a woman reporter “That’s OK, I know you’re not thinking, you never do.” pic.twitter.com/EtW2QI4lL7
– Alexi McCammond (@alexi) October 1, 2018