There’s never a dull day in the White House, thanks in part to the president’s nearly daily shenanigans that are all but tearing the country apart at the seams. So it would follow that covering the White House was just as eventful, considering the colorful (or colorless?) cast of characters found there at any given moment.
That was especially true for the press room, where two of the few women of color covering Trump’s presidency bumped heads earlier this year, according to one of them: April Ryan. The American Urban Radio Networks correspondent who has been at odds with both White House press secretaries said her counterpart from the Daily Mail, a tabloid in the U.K., told Ryan she was only able to ask questions during press briefings because she was Black.
When the Daily Mail’s correspondent – Francesca Chambers – denied the claim that Ryan made in her forthcoming book, Ryan hinted that she was considering suing to clear her good name.
“A conservative Black female reporter had openly, in my presence, spoke the wrong words, saying, ‘The only reason you get called on is because you’re black,'” Ryan wrote in “Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House,” according to the Washington Examiner.
That exchange followed another with a now-former White House staffer who just so happens to be Black, as well: Omarosa Manigault.
Ryan continued in her book: “To this day, those words don’t sit well with me,” Ryan writes. “At that time, I had had enough! ‘Yes!’ I said to her. ‘You ain’t shit!’ In front of everyone, asking her, ‘Who you think you are? You’re Black too, in case you didn’t know it!’”
The Daily Mail clapped back with an emphatic denial that ultimately rang hollow.
“It is a sad day for journalism when a reporter makes false claims against another reporter to sell a book,” the Daily Mail said in a statement. “Ms. Ryan knows what she has written to be false and she is also fully aware of the unacceptable way that she has treated Ms. Chambers in the White House for the past two years.’”
But as a White House reporter who has been routinely targeted for doing her job, including being the subject of death threats from her contentious interactions with a not-so-forthcoming White House press corps, Ryan has long been well versed in how to handle this latest madness that is sure not to be the last.