By Samantha Cooney
Updated: September 8, 2016 11:19 AM ET
Samantha Cooney is the content strategy editor at TIME.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Hillary Clinton should have smiled at a forum on national security on Wednesday night.

The RNC chair posted a string of tweets criticizing Clinton’s performance at Wednesday’s Commander-in-Chief Forum. But Priebus found himself on the receiving end of the criticism after writing that Clinton “showed the country why she is not fit to be Commander in Chief…[she] was angry + defensive the entire time — no smile and uncomfortable.”

The tweets have been widely panned as sexist and misogynistic on social media.

But Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major party, got the last word, tweeting later on Wednesday night that “that’s just what taking the office of President seriously looks like.”

Clinton echoed that sentiment in a press conference on Thursday morning.

“I had a very short window of time at that event last night to convey the seriousness with which I would approach the issues that concern our country,” Clinton said. “Donald Trump chose to talk about his deep admiration and support for Vladimir Putin. Maybe he did it with a smile, and I guess the RNC would have liked that.”

Priebus previously came under fire after telling Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in May that “people just didn’t care” about Donald Trump reportedly mistreating and making sexist remarks toward women who had worked for him.

Write to Samantha Cooney at


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