Veteran White House correspondent April Ryan says that the Trump administration is “ginning people up” to harm her simply for doing her job.
Ryan has publicly tangled with the Trump White House and its press secretaries before, but this week she says that after she asked if the president was going to step down, she saw an uptick in death threats. And she is mad as hell about it.
Tuesday, during a White House press briefing, Ryan asked if Donald Trump has ever “thought about stepping down.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded in the negative and added that Ryan’s question was “absolutely ridiculous.” Ryan posed the query a day after the FBI raided the home of Trump’s personal lawyer.
CNN reports that in a later interview with the network’s Brian Stelter, Ryan defended her question as legitimate, saying, “That was one of the options that I was told was on the table and had been on the table before. It’s not beyond the realm of logic right now because this president is in the midst of a firestorm on various issues.”
Sister Ryan then expressed her eloquent rage about the exchange, using the phrase “ginning people up,” and saying that the source that prompted her question was a Republican “close to the administration.”
“I’m angry about it, but it’s not going to deter me from doing my job,” she said. “I’m angry about the fact that people are ginning people up to come after me for that. I’m viewing the attacks as partisan. But that question had nothing to do with politics.”
Here’s an example of “partisan” thinking:
Ryan, of course, had her defenders as well:
During Stelter’s Reliable Sources podcast, Ryan wanted to know why answering basic questions is such an issue for this administration. She also expressed how very difficult it’s been for her to do her job since Trump took office: “What has happened to me in this administration these last two years has been very rough. They’ve tried to discredit me, tried to take my job from me, starting since before the administration came into the White House.”
Last year, around this time, Ryan had a fraught incident with then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer after asking him about the president’s connection to Russia (a story that apparently has some legs). He patronizingly told her not to “shake her head” while doing her job.
According to the Washington Post: “That exchange earned Ryan the usual hate mail, doubled her Twitter following, and even elicited a supportive call from a Republican former press secretary (whom she won’t identify). She said she also got death threats that required consultation with the FBI and police agencies.”
Ryan says that her employer, American Urban Radio Networks, has also received death threats via email and has since been in contact with the FBI.