White House correspondent April Ryan explained Wednesday night why she believes the Trump administration has been hostile toward her.
Comments from the American Urban Radio Networks reporter and CNN commentator, who has covered the White House for more than two decades, came during a discussion with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah about her new book, “Under Fire.”
She’s one of the few African-American reporters who cover White House briefings and asks blunt questions about the president’s attitude toward the Black community. That combination, she said, has prompted a combative, borderline hateful, response to her unyielding directness.
Here’s what Ryan had to say about the White House’s attitude against her:
1. “Warred upon”
Ryan said she feels “warred upon” by the White House. “This administration looks at what I ask in a different way” than other administrations have, Ryan said. She described herself as “an equal opportunity offender,” noting that previous administrations, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, also felt the heat from her tough questions.
Administrations expect hard questions from reporters. The Trump White House, though, has “taken the idea I will ask questions they don’t like to another degree.”
2. Trying to “kill my career”
Ryan said that Trump, who has a reputation for not turning the other cheek if he feels attacked, is trying to discredit her and “kill my career.”
In a separate interview with NPR about her new book, Ryan underscored that Trump is the only president that she’s had to ask the blunt question about whether he’s a racist. That pointed question came against the backdrop of Trump giving a pass to violent white supremacists in Charlottesville and Trump calling Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.”
3. Because she’s Black
Noah asked the journalist whether the administration’s opposition to her is rooted in her race and gender.
“I would say if you can taste it, smell it, touch it, it is what it is,” Ryan replied.
Ryan lamented that Trump’s hostility extends broadly to practically all media outlets not named Fox News, which openly panders to the president. She highlighted John McCain’s warning that the nation will slip toward dictatorship when the government attacks the press.