UPDATE, with video April Ryan, the White House correspondent who asked President Donald Trump if he is a racist, told CNN today that news organizations in the age of Trump have “the FBI and local police on speed dial” for death threats against reporters.
Asked by Stelter what reporters do when threatened, Ryan said, “What do you do? You talk to your company and your company has the FBI and local police on speed dial. Just for asking questions.”
Watch the segment above.
Earlier this month, after Trump had signed a proclamation honoring Martin Luther King Jr. (and offered his “congratulations” to the civil rights icon), Ryan and at least one other reporter shouted questions about the president’s “shithole” comments. As Trump left the room without taking questions, Ryan asked loudly, “Mr. President, are you a racist? Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir?”
Though Trump didn’t respond, a man described by Ryan as a minister rebuked the reporter with a loud “No.”
“I’m talking to the president,” Ryan responded. “Not you, sir.”
“I’m talking to you,” the minister replied. (See the exchange below).
Today on Reliable Sources, Ryan concurred with Stelter that the president’s continued use of the word “fake” in describing the press is “poisonous,” and that “the success of the White House press corps is that we continue to do our job. There’s a war on the press by the White House, led by this president.”
Another Reliable Sources panelist, John Gizzi, White House correspondent for the conservative Newsmax, said that, while he doesn’t “necessarily agree with April,” both the White House and the press could take a tip from the Bible’s admonition to “reason together,” and urged “camaraderie and conviviality.”
As an example, Gizzi offered the pre-Thanksgiving White House press briefing in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders asked – demanded, actually – reporters to name something for which they were thankful before getting to ask a question.
“You had fun,” Ryan shot back to Gizzi. “I felt that was condescending.” She said that after that briefing, she and Huckabee Sanders “had a conversation,” in which the press secretary said she was trying to “break the ice,” to which the reporter responded that “some of us felt like we were puppets.”
“She told me she was trying to do something good,” Ryan said. “It didn’t come off that way.”
“Didn’t come of that way to some,” Gizzi said.
“Didn’t come off that way to some, exactly,” said Ryan.
Here’s a clip of Ryan asking Donald Trump if he’s a racist. The question, and the minister’s rebuke, begins around the 00:55 mark.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.