After the backlash over President Trump’s reported quote about “shithole countries,” American Urban Radio Networks reporter and CNN contributor April Ryan pointedly asked him on Friday: “Are you a racist?”
Trump didn’t answer the question or a follow-up — “Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir?”– and left the room.
The question came at a White House event honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reporters yell questions at Trump after he signs MLK Day proclamation: “Mr President, are you a racist?” pic.twitter.com/GsOA9jaPoM
— Marcus Gilmer (@marcusgilmer) January 12, 2018
Ryan has clashed with the Trump administration before — in May, then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer scolded her, “please stop shaking your head,” as he answered one of her questions.
When Ryan asked her in February if he planned to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, he replied: “I’ll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?” he said. “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?” He was widely criticized by people who said his question presumed a monolithic relationship between all African-Americans.
The Washington Post was first to report that in a discussion of immigration Thursday, Trump complained about the number of Haitian and African-American immigrants who seek to come to the United States, asking: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
He reportedly expressed a preference for immigrants from countries like Norway.