April Ryan, who has covered the White House for 20 years, has earned respect from colleagues in government and reporters across the country. She has journalistic integrity.
But today, Ryan is defending her integrity after Omarosa Manigault, a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, “physically intimidated” Ryan last week at the White House and wildly accused Ryan of being a paid mouthpiece for the Clinton campaign. Ryan has vehemently denied the accusations.
Ryan, a veteran White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, said Manigault got so aggressive inside the White House that Ryan thought Manigault would hit her. She also said the altercation may have needed Secret Service intervention.
“I’m ok now,” Ryan told me Tuesday. “My company is standing behind me. I’m at work; I’m doing my job and I’m not going anywhere. And I will not be bullied.”
Ryan told The Washington Post that Manigault was face-to-face with her outside of press secretary Sean Spicer’s office last week.
Ryan said Manigault also told her that the White House has assembled “dossiers” of negative information on her and other African-American journalists. She said Manigault sent her an email in October accusing her of being “a paid Clinton surrogate.”
Sources say Ryan’s company, American Urban Radio Networks, warned the White House they may consider suing Manigault for slander and defamation of character.
“This could end up in court,” the source said.
Ryan’s run-in with Manigault comes as the Trump administration is waging an all-out war on the media, or as the White House calls it, the “opposition party.”
White House strategist Stephen Bannon has taken direct aim at journalists.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Bannon said in an interview with The New York Times last month.
“I want you to quote this,” Bannon said. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
This is an administration that lies and will not apologize; they make up “alternative facts” and obscure the truth; they spread falsehoods about their perceived adversaries with no regard for how their fabrications will impact the people involved.
The Trump administration spent its first full day in office arguing with the media about crowd sizes from Trump’s inauguration.
“Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,” Spicer claimed.
I’ve known Ryan for more than 15 years and she is a fierce White House reporter and a mother of two young daughters. She commutes from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. every morning and she believes in the power of prayer.
Asked if she believes that Trump’s aides will be fighting with the media over the next four years, Ryan said: “I don’t know, but I will certainly be here to cover this administration.”