April Ryan, a White House correspondent and bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, has often been on the receiving end of Donald Trump’s criticisms. Here’s everything you need to know about her.
As a White House correspondent, April Ryan, 52, is no stranger to coming head-to-head with President Donald Trump, 73, and his staff since he’s been in office in 2017, and in one of her latest tweets, she wasn’t afraid to troll him either. The bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks shared some photos of Washington D.C.’s new Black Lives Matter Plaza sign that replaced the Pennsylvania Avenue sign on June 6 and made sure to tag Trump to remind him that he “resides” on the street. The bold reporter, who has worked with the White House since 1997, doesn’t let criticisms from Trump or others stop her from speaking her mind and asking gutsy questions about issues concerning minorities and other topics many journalists don’t often speak about.
Here are five things you should know about April and her impressive work over the years.
1.) She has covered four presidential administrations. In her time as a White House correspondent, she’s participated in one-on-one interviews with many political figures, including Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and many others.
2.) Former White House Secretary Sean Spicer berated her in a heated exchange that made national headlines. After asking Spicer questions about Russia and whether or not Trump had plans to revamp his image in a March 2017 press conference, he accused her of having an agenda and then criticized her for shaking her head in disbelief. “Please stop shaking your head,” he said, which angered many viewers.
“I’ve been doing the same thing and asking the same kinds of questions for 20 years. I didn’t do a ‘gotcha’ question. I didn’t do anything that I didn’t normally do,” April later told The Baltimore Sun about the experience.
3.) Trump once publicly called her a ‘”loser”. In Nov. 2018, while speaking with press on camera, Trump complained about CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and how he feels many reporters don’t treat him with respect, including April. “I watch her get up, I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser,” he said after mentioning April by name. “She doesn’t know what the Hell she’s doing.”
4.) As one of the few African Americans in the White House press corps, she’s been labeled a “black reporter” by some outlets and wears it as “a badge of honor.” “If you want to call me a black reporter, I am the black reporter who also asks other issues and questions on China, Russia, Syria, North Korea,” she said about being labeled by her race in a May 2017 interview. “So if you want to label me a black reporter, I take it with a badge of honor.”
She also mentioned that she feels having more minorities in the White House press corps would be a good thing because it would bring up important issues that other reporters may not think to ask. “I remember many years ago, George W. Bush said we need more minorities in there because you don’t hear a lot of the issues unless it’s coming from a person of a certain background,” she explained. “When you’re not at the table, you often don’t hear stories that are in your community.”
5.) She’s a best-selling author and has won many prestigious awards. Her first book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Four Presidents and Race in America was released in 2015. She followed it up with the book At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White in 2016, and her latest book, Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House, was released in 2018.
She became the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year and in 2019, she was the Freedom of the Press Award Winner by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, according to her website. She is also an esteemed member of the National Press Club and is one of only three African-Americans to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents Association in its over 100-year history.