Steph McGovern has said that Donald Trump was “creepy” and told her she was “so beautiful” when she interviewed him several years ago.
The BBC Breakfast host, who interviewed Mr Trump in 2012, also said that she brushed him off with a witty retort, saying she had heard better in Middlesbrough’s Club Bongo.
Appearing as a guest host on Friday’s Have I Got News For You, McGovern told the panel: “Having once met Trump… Ah he’s creepy, man.”
Guest panellist Richard Osman asked: “How was he? Did you talk to him?”
McGovern said: “Yeah I had to, I was interviewing him. Would have been a bit tricky if I hadn’t!”
She said, of her interaction with Mr Trump: “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 pretended to gag, before adding: “It’s because he thought that would be the best way to disarm me.
“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 she was unruffled by his comments, and had replied to him: “Aye love, I’ve heard better lines than that down Club Bongo.”
McGovern, BBC Breakfast’s business reporter, had grilled Mr Trump about his status as a business tycoon, his previous 2012 bid for the US presidency, and whether his wealth made him happy.
McGovern hosted the current affairs panel show for the first time alongside regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton and guest panellists Osman and broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell.
– Have I Got News For You airs at 9pm on Friday on BBC One.