- 28 Jun 17
The unpredictable US President is famous for his abrupt manners and even occasionally hanging up on other country's leaders during heated so-called diplomatic phone calls. But he was charm personified last night when chatting with our new Taoiseach... and he even took the time to pause mid-conversation to flirt with RTÉ’s Washington correspondent, who was invited into the Oval Office to film the historic phone call.
During the chat, the so-called Leader of the Free World told Leo Varadkar: "We have a lot of your Irish press watching us just now in the room."
As you can see for yourself from the video footage below, Donald Trump then beckoned RTÉ reporter Caitriona Perry over to the Oval desk and asked her: “Where are you from? Go ahead, come here. We are all over this beautiful Irish press.”
After Perry introduced herself, Trump said: "She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well."
Trump then turned back to Perry and told her that the Taoiseach said to say thanks for the papers. Perry later explained that she had posted out copies of US papers to Leo Varadkar with front page stories about his election as Fine Gael leader for him to keep as souvenirs. Perry added this was something she would do for people she knew back home.
Speaking afterwards, Perry told RTÉ Entertainment: ""One minute we were outside the window and the next minute I'm meeting the President of the United States.
"Usually we would shoot from outside the window of the White House and that's what we were expecting today but instead we were invited inside to witness the President's call to the Taoiseach. When we went in he was already on the phone but I must have caught his eye and he called me over."
The good humoured call took the US media by surprise, especially after Donald Trump was reportedly left 90 seconds hanging on the line before Leo answered the phone.
During their chat, the US president told our new leader:"Congratulations on your great victory. We have so many people from Ireland in this country. I know so many of them. I feel I know all of them. But I just wanted to congratulate you. That was a great victory that you had."
After Trump's exchange with Caitriona Perry, the press corp were ushered out of the Oval Office to allow the two men to continue the call in private. The conversation lasted between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on which Irish paper you read this morning.
They appeared to get a lot of subjects into their brief chat. it's being reported that they discussed Brexit, the issue of the boarder with Northern Ireland, the Irish undocumented in the US, as well as climate change, free trade, Irish investment in the US, and the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
An Irish government spokesperson said the two men had agreed to met next on St Patrick's Day in the White House. The spokesperson added: "They agreed to continue strong co-operation between Ireland and the US on economic issues, shared culture, and family ties."