Donald Trump’s first news conference as President of the United States was an eventful one, with Trump slamming the “dishonest” media, denying reports about his campaign’s ties to Russia and promising to crack down on leaks in his administration.
But perhaps no moment drew more criticism his exchange with reporter April Ryan, when he asked the veteran White House reporter if she’s “friends” with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“This can’t be real life,” activist Deray McKesson wrote on Twitter.
Other Twitter users also slammed the president’s question as “racist,” saying that the question was both disrespectful to Ryan as a professional journalist and as an African-American woman.
“April Ryan has put in too much damn work to be disrespected by the Trump White House the way she has been the last few days,” wrote Mother Jones’ Brandon E. Patterson.
“Guess all us Black folks must roll with the Congressional Black Caucus when we aren’t all dodging bullets in the inner city,” Shay Stewart Bouley joked.
The moment followed a Washington Post story earlier in the week reporting that Trump communications official Omarosa Manigault “physically intimidated” Ryan outside the Oval Office.
“She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan told the Post. “I said, ‘You better back up’ … She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be.”
See some of the reactions below:
Veteran Black reporter asks Trump if he'll meet with the Congressional Black Caucus.
His reply, "are they friends of yours?" pic.twitter.com/IXrao6oem2
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 16, 2017
Fact checking this Trump press conference is going to take 20 newspaper pages…at least
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) February 16, 2017
— Madison Gray (@madisonjgray) February 17, 2017
If Frederick Douglass had introduced Trump to the Congressional Black Caucus like he was supposed to, he wouldn't have had to ask April Ryan
— Ira Madison III (@ira) February 16, 2017
A. LEGEND. THATS. WHO. APRIL. RYAN. IS. https://t.co/RvGsSJipXR
— Brandon Gates (@TheBGates) February 16, 2017
April Ryan has put in too much damn work to be disrespected by the Trump White House the way she has been the last few days.
— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) February 16, 2017
Yes. It's Omarosa's JOB to act as a liaison for groups like the CBC instead of bullying reporters like longtime WH correspondent April Ryan https://t.co/E0U106bE6N
— PatrikHenryBass (@PatriksPicks) February 16, 2017
— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215) February 16, 2017
This just can't be real life. pic.twitter.com/tBulMHpJgT
— deray mckesson (@deray) February 16, 2017
Guess all us Black folks must roll with the Congressional Black Caucus when we aren't all dodging bullets in the inner city.
— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) February 16, 2017
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 16, 2017