Trump seems to have a problem with persistent female reporters

Over the weekend Trump stormed off from a press conference when a female reporter kept pressing him about why he keeps claiming credit for an action that Barack Obama did when he was president back in 2014. Jack Shafer writes that there is a pattern here.

It starts with a reporter, usually a female reporter, asking President Donald Trump hard, tenacious questions at a news conference. Trump’s jaw seizes up, rattled and dumbfounded by the questions that he can’t or won’t answer, he abruptly ends the presser by saying, “Thank you, very much” and stalking out of the room.

Trump threw such a fit on Saturday when CBS News reporter Paula Reid launched a volley of questions about why he once again took credit for passing a veterans program that the Obama administration pushed through in 2014. In late July, the same fight-or-flight response turned to flight again when CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins chased Trump with pointed, persistent questions about his retweets of a fringe doctor’s theories that masks were useless and hydroxychloroquine cured Covid-19. “OK, thank you very much everybody,” Trump said as he backed off, truncating the news conference. In May, it was CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang and Collins again whose questions prompted Trump to crumble and skedaddle. And in April, when Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem barraged the president with Covid-19 questions, a flustered Trump threatened a walk-off. “If you keep talking, I’m going to leave and you can have it out with them”—meaning the other reporters—Trump said.

Of course, Trump has given male reporters similar thumpings. CNN’s Jim Acosta has made his career by burrowing under Trump’s skin like a chigger, and Trump has set the tone for his pressers by lashing back at Acosta. In 2018, you recall, Trump ordered Acosta to surrender the mic at a news conference, and when Acosta didn’t, Trump made a brief move to leave the podium. But he stayed and then opened fire on NBC’s Peter Alexander. The moral of the story is clear. Male reporters who contest his views make him mad. But female reporters who do the same make him melt down.

Shafer speculates that Trump is concerned about his plummeting popularity with suburban white women and that is why he does not want to badger and demean female reporters, like he does with men, but instead runs away. Whether that will be sufficient to ameliorate his problem with female voters is unclear.


  1. Katydid says

    Trump has absolutely melted down over Yamiche Alcindor, who regularly calls him on his lies.

  2. anthrosciguy says

    I’m going to make a blanket statement that may not be true but which I would bet really big money on: men like Donald Trump are scared to death of women, which is why they only like women who act submissive toward them. A woman who not only asks questions, but demands answers and has a job that makes doing that appropriate, has to be a frightening figure to a person like Donald Trump. That’s why he crumbles and runs.

  3. Matt G says

    My psychoanalysis is that he resents that these women are allowed to challenge him. The fact that they do it so relentlessly and effectively adds insult to injury.

  4. Holms says

    Trump is an insecure guy, and he resents not having the spotlight. Constant adulation is what he craves. People who correct him steal that spotlight from him, and prick him right in the insecurity. He also looks down on women, and so a woman that corrects him is extra humiliating.

  5. says

    Trump reminds me of the military junta that ruled Myanmar.

    Back in late 2007 there was a brilliant campaign to disquiet the junta by mailing massive numbers of women’s panties to the generals. This very real protest relied upon local superstitions and may have played some small role in the changes in that government.

  6. Owlmirror says

    I still remember from Stormy Daniels narrative about when she decided to accede to Trump’s demand for sex with her, she did so in a very dominant fashion.

    Stormy Daniels: Ummm (LAUGH) it started off-- all about him just talking about himself. And he’s like-- “Have you seen my new magazine?”
    Anderson Cooper: He was showing you his own picture on the cover of a magazine.
    Stormy Daniels: Right, right. And so I was like, “Does this-- does this normally work for you?” And he looked very taken-- taken back, like, he didn’t really understand what I was saying. Like, I was, “does, just, you know, talking about yourself normally work?” And I was like, “Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it.” (LAUGH) And I’ll never forget the look on his face. He was like--
    Anderson Cooper: What-- what was his look?
    Stormy Daniels: Just, I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially, you know, a young woman who looked like me. And I said, you know, “Give me that,” and I just remember him going, “You wouldn’t.” “Hand it over.” And-- so he did, and I was like, “turn around, drop ’em.”
    Anderson Cooper: You-- you told Donald Trump to turn around and take off his pants.
    Stormy Daniels: Yes.
    Anderson Cooper: And did he?
    Stormy Daniels: Yes. So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little — you know had underwear on and stuff and I just gave him a couple swats.
    Anderson Cooper: This was done in a joking manner.

    Stormy Daniels: Yes. And-- from that moment on, he was a completely different person.
    Anderson Cooper: How so?
    Stormy Daniels: He quit talking about himself and he asked me things and I asked him things and it just became like more appropriate.
    Anderson Cooper: It became more comfortable.
    Stormy Daniels: Yeah. He was like, “Wow, you-- you are special. You remind me of my daughter.” You know-- he was like, “You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.”

    Maybe Trump gets excited when women get all up in his face.

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