BBC reporter Steph McGovern pretended to gag when she recalled a 2012 interview with Donald Trump where the real estate mogul flirted with her and called her “so beautiful.”
McGovern is opening up about her memories of the interview, telling BBC that Trump offered some unprompted and unwanted praise of her looks.
“He said, ‘You’re so beautiful, I’m going to leave the room to make myself look better, because if we do this interview now everyone is just going to be staring at you and not listening to me,'” McGovern recalled, saying she believed Trump thought the compliment was the best way to “disarm” her before the interview.
McGovern added that she thinks Donald Trump didn’t know how to compliment a female journalist other than to focus on her looks.
“He thought as a female journalist, he thought that was the best thing to say to me rather than ‘Oh, I watched your piece on mobile phone insurance last week,'” she said.
Steph McGovern: 'Creepy' Donald Trump called me beautiful https://t.co/u0RguFink2
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 26, 2018
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has been accused of making inappropriate advances on a female reporter. During the 2016 presidential campaign, after the release of the Access Hollywood tape led to a series of women claiming that Trump had kissed and groped them without consent, People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff recalled a time Trump forced a kiss on her during a 2005 interview.
Stoynoff wrote in a story for People that she was interviewing Trump for a puff piece about his family when he cornered her, forcefully kissing her while his wife Melania briefly stepped out of the room. Trump later told Stoynoff that he was confident they would have an affair.
Other female reporters have made similar claims of Trump. In a book about her experiences from covering Trump’s 2016 campaign, MSNBC reporter Katy Tur wrote that Trump once gave her an unexpected and unwelcome kiss. As Business Insider reported, Tur said she froze when Trump moved in to kiss her while making an appearance on Morning Joe.
“Before I know what’s happening, his hands are on my shoulders and his lips are on my cheek,” Tur wrote. “My eyes widen. My body freezes. My heart stops.”
Tur said she was worried that others would have seen his kiss.
“F—. I hope the cameras didn’t see that,” she wrote. “My bosses are never going to take me seriously. I didn’t have time to duck!”
The 2012 interview stuck with Steph McGovern, even six years later. She said that she still feels “sick” when thinking back to the interaction with Donald Trump.