Donald Trump Hires 9-11 Survivor and Iraq, Afghanistan Veteran During Press Conference

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Trump International Hotel that is currently under construction March 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Washington, DC

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump offered an African-American female reporter, a 9-11 survivor and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, a job during his press conference at the Old Post Office, which is being renovated into Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., causing the young woman to shed tears.

“I love your policy that you have for the military. I wanted to know if Trump Towers would be part of that veterans jobs…,” freelance reporter Alicia Watkins began to question the billionaire.

“We’re doing some of that already… why? What are you looking for? What kind of a position?” Trump interrupted her, adding, “Come up here.”

“Do you mind if I do a job interview… we need good people,” he told the press as she approached the podium.

“What’s your experience in front of the world?” he asked Watkins.

“I design… all types of decoration,” she responded.

“Here’s the man… if we can make a good deal in the salary, she’s probably going to have a job,” Trump said as he pointed her over to meet one of his employees.

“I felt good about her,” Trump said when a reporter later asked about the exchange. “I looked at her … I have gut instinct. It was a very positive question [that she asked]. Look at that, with the tears, how nice,” he added, as she began to cry, overwhelmed with emotion. “She just seemed [like] a good person to me. Maybe she won’t qualify. I think she will. I have instincts about people.”

“I wanted to put a great story on the Veterans Administration website talking about how Trump Towers is open for veterans who would love to apply that need a job,” Watkins later told reporters who approached her about the exchange after the press conference concluded.

“Anyone who’s done what he did for me today really, really gets my vote,” she added.

“I was a homeless veteran,” she told the reporters when asked why she got emotional. “It’s nice to find someone that will listen to you,” adding, “if you knew how long I’ve been fighting to be employed, you would understand.”

“This is the first time I saw him,” she responded, declaring she did not know Trump or have contact with him prior to the exchange.