April Ryan has been publicly berated by Donald Trump but the White House correspondent vows to cover her beat long after the former reality TV star is gone.
She’s been called “nasty” and a “loser” by President Donald Trump, has received death threats and even had to move into a new house because doing her job has made her a target.
But White House correspondent April Ryan is refusing to back down when it comes to covering the Trump administration.
“It is terrible,” April, 52, says about the insults and the threats that she has faced over the past three and a half years. “But, you know what? I withstood it and I kept going. And I’m still going and he’s not gonna stop me.”
Long before President Trump, 74, berated PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor for her “threatening” question during a March press conference; years before he told CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang to keep her “voice down” or called her colleague Paula Reid “fake” and “disgraceful,” he lashed out at April.
Trump says he hasn't made a decision on CNN reporter Jim Acosta's hard pass, but mentions the possibility of revoking other journalists' access, including April Ryan's. "When you're in the White House this is a very sacred place for me." https://t.co/nVLieDPCSp pic.twitter.com/wyTCGDQsxY
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 9, 2018
During a Nov. 7, 2018 White House press conference he told her to “sit down” when she tried to ask him a question. Days later he called the American Urban Radio Networks correspondent a “loser.” “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing…” Trump said in the above clip, adding, “She’s very nasty and she shouldn’t be.”
For all the grace and confidence that April exudes while covering her beat, she admits to HollywoodLife that being insulted by the President of the United States is tough. “There are several components to that,” she says. “One, the humiliation to be called out by someone who’s supposed to be esteemed. Someone who’s supposed to have decorum. Someone who is supposed to be a moral leader and to be put on blast for the world to see, not just a few people.
“And then for the minions to follow behind him. Death threats and call you names and out you. It’s horrible. It is a thousand times worse than that high school stuff, when the big bully runs the school.”
Asked how she remains composed in that situation, she adds, “You have to remember, as a reporter, it’s not about us. And that’s the way I was raised in journalism. The problem is now the focus is on me and it’s been tough navigating those murky waters.”
GOP: attn, pls. This is the Pres: Trump orders April Ryan to "sit down" pic.twitter.com/VZ17rJ60UF
— Alexandra Rosas (@GDRPempress) November 7, 2018
April says that she was so concerned about her safety at the time that she moved home and even hired a bodyguard for protection. “It was really bad,” she says. “People were driving by my home, sitting out there waiting for me… My kids would see the same cars sitting out there, just watching, through the window. And I said, ‘It’s time to leave.’”
Through it all the mom-of-two has never thought about giving up. The CNN political analyst won’t even let the coronavirus pandemic throw her off course. She’s currently filing exclusive stories from home, not the White House. As someone with “underlying health issues,” she wants to protect herself. “If I ran from death threats, do you think I’m going to sit there and let him kill me through COVID?” April says of the president who, until last week, has been loath to wear a face mask.
“This president is a nightmare to me personally and for this nation, watching how he carries on…” she says. “I’ve been at the White House for 23 years, seen presidents come and go. I’ve never seen anything like this, never, and I pray I never will.”
Defiantly, she adds, “I will be there. I was there before he came out and I’ll be there after he’s gone. I’m still standing.”