Obama Officials Defend White House Reporter April Ryan Featured in Trump Ad After She Claims Racism

Close Obama aide Valerie Jarrett came to the defense of White House reporter April Ryan after Ryan was one of several reporters and media figures whose image was featured in a campaign ad released Sunday by the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump that called the media figures, “enemies who don’t want the President to succeed.”

April Ryan.

Valerie Jarrett with former President Barack Obama.


Jarrett offered Team Obama’s defense to Ryan via Twitter, seconding praise by Obama’s secretary of Education Arne Duncan who wrote, “Not just sad, scary. @AprilDRyan you are a pro, and you don’t scare easy. Keep doing your job! More important than ever.”

Jarrett said to Ryan, “True that. Head high. We have you back, @AprilDRyan.” Jarrett’s statement “we got you back” could be read as a promise of defense by Team Obama as payback for favorable coverage of Obama by Ryan.

In a tweet posted March 23, 2017, Jarrett called Ryan “my friend”. Ryan, in turn, called Jarrett, “my friend” in a tweet posted April 3, 3017. The declared friendship between Jarrett and Ryan calls into serious question Ryan’s objectivity in covering the Trump White House.

Ryan thanked both Duncan and Jarrett.

Ryan, who is African-American and serves as the White House Correspondent & Washington Bureau Chief- American Urban Radio Networks, CNN Political Analyst (source: Twitter bio), claimed racism by the Trump campaign for her being included in the ad, writing, “Sad day I am singled out as an enemy of the White House as this racial hate is going on just for asking real questions and speaking truth.”

Ryan was seconding a comment by Real Clear Politics White House Correspondent Alexis Simendinger, who claimed racism by the Trump campaign, “Trump campaign ad incl. images of African-Americans as “enemies.” Journalist @AprilDRyan is included. STOP. @whca”

For the record there are only three African-Americans prominently featured in the ad during segments highlighting Trump opponents and “enemies”: Rep Maxine Waters (D-CA), CNN anchor Don Lemon and Ryan. The rest are white Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). And white media figures including MSNBC’s ‘It Couple’ Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams and several CNN figures such as Brian Stelter, Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett among others.

The images of the media figures appear twice in the ad, the first time at the two second mark with the voice over saying, “The media attacking our President” with a visual overlay that reads in all caps “ATTACKING OUR PRESIDENT”.

The same media figures’ second appearance in the thirty-second ad comes toward the end, at the twenty-one second mark with a voice over that says, “The President’s enemies don’t want him to succeed.”

Link to Trump campaign page that announces the ad, entitled, “Let President Trump Do His Job”.

Ryan was awarded Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Video of Ryan’s acceptance speech posted Saturday.

Ryan gained stardom this year with high profile skirmishes with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and and an epic feud with now former friend Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault.

Ryan is the author of two well-received books, The Presidency in Black and White and the recently released At Mama’s Knee, Mothers and Race in Black and White.

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