CNN Political Analyst April Ryan spoke repeatedly about engaging White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a violent street fight following a confrontation late in Thursday’s press briefing where Sanders called out Ryan for making up a statement by Sanders and Ryan getting angry at Sanders in response.
Ryan’s anger stayed with her all afternoon and evening with Ryan making mentions of “street”, “fist fights” “physical fights” and “street fight” when talking about Sanders on CNN and Twitter, even going so far as to call Sanders “gutter”.
Ryan also accused Sanders of using her as a “whipping post”, invoking slave-era imagery.
Ryan’s day job is White House Correspondent & Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks. Ryan was hired by CNN last year to provide political commentary after she became a heroine of the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ by repeatedly clashing with first Trump White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Ryan has an antagonistic relationship with Sanders such that she accused Sanders of faking a photo of a Thanksgiving Day chocolate pecan pie. When Sanders said she would bake another pecan pie just for her, Ryan demurred implying Sanders would poison her with the pie.
Thursday’s confrontation began with Ryan bullying her way past another reporter whom Sanders was trying to call on for the last question of the briefing and ended with Ryan angry with Sanders for calling out her sloppy reportage.
MS. SANDERS: …I’ll take one last question. Lalit. Sorry, April.
Q Okay, Sarah, really fast. Two questions. Can you — if you’re not ready — (laughter) —
MS. SANDERS: I was looking for him. I thought he was over here. He’s usually standing over there. I’ll come to you next.
Q So, Sarah, at this point, can you tell us definitively if the President plans to answer any questions from Bob Mueller? And if not, what is now in place here at the White House to go through that process of a subpoena, a possible indictment, a possible grand jury?
MS. SANDERS: Again, those are all questions you would need to refer to the outside counsel.
Q Okay. Well, now, going to Rudy Giuliani — did Rudy Giuliani do harm to the President today and last night in his conversations to Fox?
MS. SANDERS: I don’t believe so.
Q And are you —
MS. SANDERS: Sorry, I’m going to take Lalit’s question like I promised to do.
Q Why didn’t he talk to the White House Press Office about his impacting stellar statements about what was happening? Everyone (inaudible).
MS. SANDERS: The White House Press Office wouldn’t coordinate with the President’s outside legal team on legal strategy.
Q But you were blindsided — you said yourself, I was blindsided by what he said.
MS. SANDERS: I actually didn’t use that term.
Q Well, I said it. (Laughter.) But you were blindsided, from what you said.
MS. SANDERS: Well, with all due respect, you actually don’t know much about me in terms of what I feel and what I don’t.
Q (Inaudible) been here for 21 years, so I understand how this operates. Do not discredit me.
MS. SANDERS: All right. I think (inaudible).”
Afterward Baltimore native Ryan went back and forth with former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a fellow professional Black woman, on Twitter in which the two spoke about fighting Sanders, a professional white woman.
Rawlings-Blake: “@AprilDRyan unsolicited comeback suggestions for @PressSec, “I may not know you, but I damn sure know a LIE! And you are wearing it Sis, all over your face -oh wait is that a smudge in your liner”
Ryan: “Lol stop. Bmore in the house I know you have my back. That you don’t know me stuff begins fist fights. She needs to know what she is saying. I am not the one”
Rawlings-Blake: “I already took my earrings off and Vaseline in my purse”
Ryan: “That is what I am talking about! Take off that pretty ring to fornthe street fight Lol”
April Ryan appeared on CNN Thursday afternoon and accused Sanders of acting “street” toward her, reported The Hill.
“She was watching, she found out all of the information while she was watching Fox last night. So she was blindsided. This was not a personal attack on her. And for her to say something like, ‘You don’t know me’ — that was very street,” Ryan said.
“I know there are street politics here but that was very street. I’ve been here 21 years from this White House, from the second term of Bill Clinton until the first term of Donald J. Trump. I’ve seen impeachment, I’ve seen war, I’ve seen peace. So I understand the process. I’m not a dummy and do not discredit me. That’s what my comeback was,” Ryan said.
Later on Thursday evening Ryan appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) May 4, 2018
Ryan began her segment on Sanders saying, “You know, I think she’s feeling some kind of way, she’s catching feelings from this weekend and I guess I was her whipping post but I’m not a whipping post. She’s thirty-five, I’m fifty. I’ve been at the White House for twenty-one years, to her what one, if that.”
Ryan described her experience covering the Bill Clinton impeachment saying President Clinton’s lawyers briefed his staff, contrasting that with Giuliani not telling the Trump staff beforehand what he was going to say on Hannity Wednesday night.
Ryan went on to her confrontation with Sanders, saying, “But what I will say to you, is that for her to say, for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the presidential spokesperson, the mouthpiece for the president of the United States to say, “You don’t know me,” in certain quarters in this nation that starts a physical fight. I was very shocked, it was street, I will even go beyond that, it was gutter. And, uh, there is no room, no place for that in that White House briefing room. And you know what she can be mad at what I say right now, tough. I’m a reporter who’s gonna continue to ask questions and there was nothing wrong with that question.”
A visibly perturbed Ryan finished as Lemon tried to wrap up her monologue, saying, “Am I little upset about it? Yes. I am. I am. I am.”