April Ryan, an Urban Radio Network correspondent, did not receive an invitation for the annual White House Christmas party for the first time in two decades, which seems to confirm her claim that the White House distrusts Black reporters—especially one like her who is outspoken.
If a reporter is “someone of a different race” (referring to herself) in the press room you are considered the opposition,” Ryan said, referring to her experience as a White House correspondent during the Trump administration, according to Real Clear Politics.
Ryan believes the snub was intentional, The Hill reported. “I think they don’t like me. For whatever reason, they have disdain for me,” she stated. For nearly a year, Ryan, like many other reporters, has battled the White House’s press secretaries, beginning with Sean Spicer and now with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, at press briefs. At those meetings, reports have often caught the press secretaries struggling to explain (or cover for) their boss’ lies and misdeeds. In her conversation with CNN host Don Lemon, Ryan said many reporters today are afraid to challenge Sanders—a clear departure from the long tradition of White House reporters demanding straight answers from the president’s spokesperson. The veteran journalist noted that some of her colleagues are friendly to the Trump administration because they were embedded with his campaign and other are Republicans. Those reporters who ask tough questions are viewed by the Trump administration as an opponent, and Black reporters are automatically “considered an opposition,” she said.
The tension between Ryan and Trump first flared when the president asked her at a press brief to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. That was in response to her question about whether he planned to meet with the Black lawmakers to discuss his campaign promise to revitalize urban centers. Trump asked Ryan: “Are they friends of yours?”