Before asking her initial question to White House press secretary Sean Spicer at Tuesday’s briefing, April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, said, “Sean, you don’t seem so happy.”
It turns out he wasn’t — at least with her line of questioning.
Spicer sparred with Ryan after she asked him how President Trump’s administration can “revamp” its public image while several controversies swirl around it.
“How does this administration revamp its image two and a half months in?” Ryan said. “You’ve got Russia, you’ve got wiretapping, you’ve got other things going on.”
“No, we don’t have that,” Spicer shot back. “You’ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.”
“I appreciate your agenda here,” Spicer continued. “At some point, report the facts. The facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion — Republican, Democrat — so I’m sorry that disgusts you.”
Spicer wasn’t done scolding: “At some point, April, you’re going to have to take no for an answer.”
Ryan then asked Spicer about Trump’s planned meeting with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a frequent critic of the president whom Trump once called a “bitch.”
“It seems like you’re hellbent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” Spicer said. “Stop shaking your head again.”
Spicer argued that Trump continues to “reach out to individuals who have supported him, who didn’t support him, Republicans, Democrats, to try to bring this country together and move forward on an agenda that’s going to help every American.”
It was her second tense back-and-forth with Spicer of the week, with three more days of briefings left to go.
Following Tuesday’s exchange, Ryan shared her reaction on Twitter.
“Lawd!!!” she tweeted.
Ryan elaborated in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ve been here for 20 years,” she said. “We’ve never seen anything like this before. And my question was simple: How do you change the perception problem?”
Ryan added: “I understand what Sean is doing. … [He was] trying to make this administration look better than what it does right now. And unfortunately, I was roadkill today.”
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