Trump to Female Reporter: I Know You're Not Thinking, You Never Do

"One way he exercises his "masculine power" is to talk to and about women on the basis of their appearance, instead of more substance", Rutgers University's Kelly Dittmar said last summer, having just finished a study on the role of gender in the presidential campaign.

He called on Cecilia Vega, a White House reporter for ABC News, and baselessly insinuated she was "shocked" that he had tapped her.

"She's shocked that I picked her", said Trump as a flock of staffers behind him - mostly men - smiled or laughed. "I don't mind answering the question but, you know, I'd like to to do the trade questions".

Vega quickly denied the claim, saying, "No, I'm not".

The Trump Rose Garden presser had been called to celebrate the president's successful re-negotiation of NAFTA with Canada and Mexico.

Vega referred obliquely to the exchange on her Twitter account later. Yes, I did.' But without the question, the transcript made that crucial moment in history almost impossible to understand.

"It has to do with the other headline in the news, which is the Kavanaugh investigation", she responded.

"Let's do that later", the president said. First, there was this weird interaction with reporter Cecilia Vega.

Vega, clearly surprised at Trump's comment, exclaimed, "I'm sorry?"

"How much of a sexist dick can you possibly be?"

As with so much of the Trump administration's bluster, it's impossible to say whether the edited transcript represents a calculated attempt by the White House to soft-censor the president's clear denigration of a female reporter's intelligence, or if it's a careless slip-up on the part of a government employee.

Trump interrupted Jiang as well and when she pointed that fact out, he told her to sit down.

Trump ultimately addressed reporters' questions about Kavanaugh's drinking, apparently contradicting Kavanaugh's own testimony before Congress by saying that the candidate had spoken about having issues with drinking in college.

Vega was not the only reporter to face Mr Trump's wrath today. "You never do", the president said.

He said then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever". "Do you have a question on trade?"

The Kavanaugh probe was the elephant in the room during today's press conference, and soon even Mr Trump couldn't ignore it.

There are two things about this exchange that are disturbing, although not out of character for Trump.

"OK, you people want to get off trade".