President Donald Trump called Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, “nasty” when he was told about comments she made during the 2016 election season in an interview with British newspaper The Sun. He made the remark ahead of his trip to the U.K. for an official state visit next week and meeting with the royal family.
The paper spoke to Trump in the Oval Office, where they asked the president for his reaction to Markle’s public statements prior to the election — which he appeared to be hearing for the first time. “I didn’t know that. What can I say? I didn’t know that she was nasty,” said Trump, echoing his infamous “nasty woman” insult against Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate in 2016.
While the royals are not allowed to make public political statements, Markle had not yet married into the monarchy and was free to voice her opinions. In 2016, Markle appeared on an episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, a political and pop culture panel show that aired on Comedy Central. The future royal called Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic,” adding, “You don’t really want the kind of world that he’s painting.” She had also pledged to vote for Clinton and move to Canada if he was elected (ironically, she moved to England instead).
This is not the first time that Trump has raised eyebrows among royal watchers. When he met with the Queen of England in 2018, he committed several breaches of royal protocol. The Duchess of Sussex is not expected to meet with Trump when he visits next week, as she is on maternity leave after giving birth to baby Archie last month. Still, he expected to attend a state dinner with Prince Harry, Markle’s husband, so it remains to be seen how his “nasty” comment will be received.