The lawyer whose break during a deposition to pump breast milk for her baby led Donald Trump to call her “disgusting” and storm out questioned his ability to serve as U.S. president.
“What kind of a leader of the United States would this be?” Elizabeth Beck, of the law firm Beck & Lee in Miami, said Wednesday in a CNN interview. “Is he going to behave this way when he’s negotiating treaties with China or Russia? You have to wonder about that.”
Trump, 69 and a father of five, has placed first in several recent national polls of Republicans. He tweeted Wednesday to CNN and CNNPolitics that the lawyer “wanted to breast pump in front of me.”
Trump’s outburst came during a sworn legal deposition in 2011 in which Beck, who was questioning him in a real estate case, requested time to use a breast pump to store milk for her then-3-month-old baby. The New York Times reported Trump’s reaction in an online story Tuesday.
According to a transcript of the court proceedings and Beck’s account on CNN, Trump couldn’t handle Beck’s request.
“He had an absolute meltdown when I said I needed the break and it was for breast-pumping purposes,” Beck said. “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there. We were not able to conclude his deposition that day.”
According to the Times report, Trump also called Beck “uptight.”
“All I was requesting was a break that everybody had agreed to during lunch hour so I could excuse myself and pump my baby’s food,” Beck said.
Pumping for a baby normally takes about 30 minutes and is typically done in private every few hours when a nursing mother is away from her baby. The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, requires most employers to provide breastfeeding women with “reasonable” time and space to express milk.
Beck said she considers Trump’s reaction during the deposition relevant to his presidential bid because of the unexpected virulence of his reaction and the way he handled himself.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.