White House correspondent April Ryan told CNN on Sunday that reporters have been receiving “death threats” throughout Trump's presidency. According to Ryan, some news organizations have “the FBI and local police on speed dial" when journalists are threatened.
“There has been a war on the press by the White House, led by this president,” the American Urban Radio Networks reporter told CNN host Brian Stelter. “I’ve talked to other reporters, you know we’ve got death threats.”
Stelter, who appeared shocked by the notion of death threats, asked Ryan to clarify if she’s ever received threats personally. “Death threats, yes,” she responded. “For asking questions and reporting. Me personally.”
Ryan has been a member of the White House press corps since 1997 and explained how different the treatment of reporters during Trump’s time in office has become compared to other presidencies. “People are taking this to a whole other degree," she said. "The same questions I’ve asked this president, I’ve asked other presidents. The only question that I’ve never asked a president and no one else has is 'are you racist?'”
Earlier this month, Ryan blatantly asked Trump if he was racist because of his “shithole” statement regarding Haiti and African countries. “Mr. President, are you a racist?” she asked after the president signed an honorary proclamation for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir?”
Trump also asked Ryan to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus back in February, making the assumption she knew them because she is black. Sean Spicer also exchanged heated words with the reporter on several occasions while he was the White House Press Secretary. She was awarded “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017.