It was the verbal equivalent of a prizefight.
In one corner was April D. Ryan, the longtime White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Network.
April D. Ryan
In the other corner was Sean Spicer, White House press secretary for President Donald J. Trump.
Since taking office on January 20, Trump has been ensnared in a series of revelations about collaboration between members of his 2016 Presidential campaign and Russian Intelligence agents.
The FBI, CIA and National Security Agency have officially stated that Russian Intelligence played a major role in trying to sway the election for Trump.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the “fake news” media reporting these revelations. Chief among his targets: CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
On March 28, disgusted with the administration’s stonewalling and outright lying, reporter April Ryan directly confronted Sean Spicer at a White House press conference.
The result was explosive.
April Ryan: With all of these investigations, questions of what is, is? How does this administration try to revamp its image two and a half months in? You’ve got this Yates story today, you’ve got other things going on. You’ve got Russia. You’ve got, you’ve got wiretapping. You’ve got —
Sean Spicer: No, we don’t have that. You’ve …
Ryan: There are investigations on Capitol Hill–
Spicer: No, no, no. I get it. But you keep — I’ve said it from the day that I got here until whatever that there is no connection. You’ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.
But every single person. No. Well, no, that’s … I appreciate your agenda here. But the reality is … oh no, no. Hold on, no, at some point, report the facts. The facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion. Republican, Democrat.
[This is a lie. In fact, the more digging that goes on, the more embarrassing revelations turn up of collusion between high-ranking administration officials and Russian agents or monies.]
So, I’m sorry that that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head. I appreciate it. But, but …
Ryan: … I’m trying to understand …
Spicer: But understand this. At some point, the facts are what they are. And every single person who has been briefed on this situation with respect to the situation with Russia, Republican, Democrat, Obama-appointee, career, have all come to the same conclusion.
[Another lie. The FBI is now investigating contacts between Russian Intelligence agents and members of the Trump Presidential campaign.]
At some point, April, you’re gonna have to take no for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion.
Ryan: How do you change the perception of, of…
Spicer: We’re going to keep doing everything we’re doing to make sure that the president’s — that what the president told the American people he was going to do, to fulfill those pledges and promises that he made, to bring back jobs, to grow the economy, to keep our nation safe.
That’s what he’s been focused on since day one. We’re going to keep focusing on that every single day.
[In short: We’re going to continue to lie and deny.]
Ryan: Condi Rice [Secretary of State under President George W. Bush] comes Friday. Condi Rice did not support this president. She did not go to the convention. She comes, what is on the agenda?
And how is their relationship? Has it healed since 2006 when he used a very negative word to describe her?
[The word was “bitch.” In 2006, Trump told an audience at a Learning Annex convention speech: “Condoleezza Rice, she’s a lovely woman, but I think she’s a bitch. She goes around to other countries and other nations, negotiates with their leaders, comes back and nothing ever happens.”]
Spicer: So here’s what I’ll tell you. It’s interesting that you ask those two questions back to back. On the one hand you’re saying what’re we doing to improve our image? And then here he is, once again, meeting somebody that hasn’t been a big supporter of his. Hold on ...
Ryan: He called her a negative name in 2006.
Spicer: But, April, hold on. It seems like you’re hellbent on trying to make sure that whatever image that you want to tell about this White House stays, because at the end of the day. Let me answ ….
Ryan: … call her that name. I am just reporting what —
Spicer: Okay, but, you know what, you’re asking me a question and I’m going to answer it. Which is, the president, I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again.
But at some point, the reality is that this president continues to reach out to individuals who’ve supported him, who didn’t support him, Republicans, Democrats, to try to bring the country together and move forward on an agenda that’s gonna help every American. That’s it. Plain and simple.
[Actually, it isn’t “plain and simple.” And additional proof of this will be offered in Part Two of this series.]