A senior Washington Post journalist has lashed out at Donald Trump after he called her “beautiful” following an hour-long editorial board meeting on foreign policy.
During the meeting with the newspaper, Deputy Digital Editor Karen Attiah claimed that Mr Trump was polling negatively among Hispanics, and the Republican replied that was only the case among “illegal immigrants” but he was “doing very well” among “legal” Hispanic people.
She then challenged him over his use of racist rhetoric, and he replied that Muslims present “a serious problem” and accused Muslims of sheltering terrorists in Paris.
Ms Attiah thanked Mr Trump for answering her question as they walked out of the room.
Mr Trump reportedly turned to her and said: “I really hope I answered your question,” and added “Beautiful”, with a smile.
“I was stunned. I didn’t say thank you, and I don’t think I smiled. He then walked out to meet with my Post colleagues briefly before heading to the elevator,” Ms Attiah wrote. ”I stayed in the conference room for a few minutes as it sunk in that the potential GOP nominee for president thought it was okay to comment on my appearance. Did he just say that?”
In a post for her newspaper, Ms Attiah lambasted Mr Trump's world of "no rules", which allows him to incite violence at his rallies and to predict “riots” if he does not win the nomination.
“Perhaps he thought that calling me beautiful would make me ignore the fact that he brazenly lied about his polling numbers among Hispanic voters,” she said. ”Or make me believe that he wasn’t really a racist. Who knows? At least now I know, firsthand, that the sexism that Trump puts on display against Megyn Kelly under the lights of national TV is not that much different from how he is in real life toward female journalists.”
Mr Trump recently called Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly “crazy” and “unwatchable” as he claimed she was spinning the election numbers last week following five states voting in Super Tuesday.
Mr Trump landed himself in hot water after making a show of inviting a female veteran onto the stage this week and offering her a job “depending on the salary” and calling her “sweetie”.
His campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was also criticized for allegedly grabbing the arm of Michelle Fields, a former reporter from conservative website Breitbart, while she tried to question Mr Trump at a rally.