White House Veteran White House Correspondent April Ryan set the record straight following her strange exchange with President Donald Trump during a presser where he asked her to arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus to address Black issues.
Following a Thursday, Feb. 16 press conference, Ryan said that it is not her place as a reporter to arrange meetings between the White House and the CBC. “I will not convene, facilitate, nothing,” she tells MSNBC.
“I am not a facilitator, I’m not a convener, I’m a White House correspondent,” she says. “I can say this — many of the CBC members have contacted me since that answer and … they are very eager to meet with this president about the issues.”
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Ryan asked Trump on Thursday if he planned to meet with the CBC to create solutions to various problems affecting Black people. At first, the president appeared to not understand with CBC stood for until Ryan stated that it meant Congressional Black Caucus. After the clarification, he asked the 20-year White House reporter to arrange a meeting with the CBC, as if she was a member of the caucus. Trump then remarked, “Are they friends of yours?” which sparked controversy on social media for his insinuation that all Black people know each other. The controversy also revealed that the CBC has attempted to meet with Trump for a month, but they claim the administration hasn’t responded.
Ryan told MSNBC that the members of the CBC were worried about Trump’s upcoming executive order that would take the HBCU initiative out of the purview of the Department of Education and move it to the White House. She added that the CBC would like to be involved in the process and want to create a dialogue with Trump. Ryan offered to cover and report on that meeting.