April Ryan, the black reporter President Donald Trump asked to arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, said Thursday that she has “never” seen anything like his last-minute press conference in 20 years covering the White House.
Ryan, who is a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that in “20 years” covering four presidents, she has “never” seen anything like Trump’s impromptu and wide-ranging event.
“We found out that this whole press conference was called when President Trump walked into the Oval Office and told a member of his senior staff, essentially, today is the day, I want to hold this press conference. It was sort of hastily put together,” Baldwin said. “What was it like being in the room?”
“We were told they had 45 minutes,” Ryan said. “It was so fast in putting it together that the White House press office staff did not have place cards for us.”
She said she was determined to get a question in “some way or the other.”
“I was way back,” Ryan said. “So it was a very interesting dynamic. And the way I understand it, they may change that for the next one, but they are still learning. There is a big learning curve for them.”
“Is there a next one?” Baldwin asked.
“I’m sure,” Ryan said. “He seemed to enjoy it. It was very painful for us, but pleasurable for him. But he said he enjoyed it so we’ll see, it probably will be another one.”
Ryan asked Trump during the press conference if he planned to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in his plans to revitalize urban neighborhoods.
“Do you want to set up the meeting?” Trump said, speaking over her. “Do you want to set up the meeting?”
“No, no, no, I’m just a reporter,” Ryan replied.
“Are they friends of yours? No, go ahead,” Trump continued. “Set up the meeting. Let’s go. Set up a meeting.”
“I am a journalist not a convener!” Ryan tweeted afterward. “But thank you for answering my questions.”
“Every White House has someone to deal with this kind of meeting,” she told Baldwin. “As far as facilitating that meeting or convening that meeting, that is not my place.”