After repeatedly ordering Ryan to “sit down,” Trump went after PBS Newshour journalist Yamiche Alcindor, who asked if the president was concerned he was sending the wrong message by calling himself a “nationalist.” Many saw his use of the word as a dog whistle to self-avowed white nationalists, Alcindor said.
Trump, who claimed he had the “highest poll numbers with African-Americans ever,” said he was “insulted” and deemed her question “racist.”
“I don’t know why you’d say that, that’s such a racist question,” he retorted. “I don’t believe it … it’s a very terrible thing you said.”
In an interview with CNN later that evening, Ryan decried the president’s antics and accused him of soiling journalists with his “residue of hate.”
“Yamiche is now — she has the residue of hate, you know,” Ryan said about her fellow reporter. “He called her statement or question racist and he was insulted. It was not meant to be insulting. It was meant to get clarity on what he was saying, that’s all.”
CNN’s Wolf Blizter recalled his time as a White House correspondent and said he couldn’t remember a president ever behaving the way Trump has.
“At a news conference like this, you stand up, you ask your question,” he explained. “It could be a very tough question. The president might not like it … but I’ve never heard a president respond the way this president did.”
Watch more in the clip below.