Tensions rising

In wake of death threats, White House reporter says Sarah Huckabee Sanders should pay for her bodyguard

April Ryan (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2017 ESSENCE Festival )

White House reporter April Ryan, a 21-year veteran of the beat, says that she’s been forced to hire a bodyguard to protect herself amid a flurry of death threats — and that she believes White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders should offer to foot the bill. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan, a correspondent who was named journalist of the year by the National Association for Black Journalists in 2017, said that Sanders and “her boss,” President Donald Trump, had been “stirring” up animosity against her and other White House reporters.

“I mean, I’ve had death threats,” said the longtime American Urban Radio Networks correspondent. “I’ve had craziness, so I have a real concern … Do I have a bodyguard? Yes, I do. Am I paying for it? Yes, I am. And I think [Sanders] should have to pay for it … I did not sign up for this. I was just doing a job.”

“[Sanders] should be ashamed of herself going out there, saying some of the things that she’s said,” Ryan said. “She tries to insult my intelligence. And not just my intelligence, the world’s intelligence.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House Briefing Room, on August 14, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Ryan, the THR reported, also had some choice words for former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former friend of Ryan’s whose relationship swiftly deteriorated during the 2016 presidential campaign after Manigault Newman reportedly falsely accused her of being paid to “manipulate” reporters for Hillary Clinton. According to Ryan, a recent media blitz by Manigault Newman during which she spoke out about an alleged tape of Trump using the n-word served as an opportunity for Manigault Newman to spitefully distract from news of the late Aretha Franklin’s illness.

“She did it because Aretha Franklin didn’t want her at her birthday party,” Ryan said. “That’s how vindictive Omarosa is.”

Ryan’s combative relationship with the Trump administration has led to a number of public conflicts with his officials besides Sanders and Manigault. In January, former Trump Organization event planner turned administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for New York and New Jersey Lynne Patton was forced to apologize for referring to Ryan as “Miss Piggy” and a “bankrupt blogger” after the reporter previously spoke out about facing death threats in wake of President Trump’s continued attacks on the free press.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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