Reporter April Ryan discusses receiving death threats for coverage of Trump's presidency

Ryan: “What do you do? You talk to your company, and your company has the FBI, the local police on speed dial just for asking questions.”

From the January 21 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources

Video file

APRIL RYAN: I have talked to other reporters. We’ve gotten death threats. Being on the road sometimes, some of the reporters are saying at a moment’s notice the crowd could turn. And just recently --

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): April, let me ask you, you just said “death threats.” You just said “death threats” for reporting? 

RYAN: Yeah. Death threats. Yes. For asking questions and reporting. Yes. Yes. Yes.

STELTER: And that's for you personally?

RYAN: It's real. 

STELTER: What do you do?

RYAN: Me, personally. What do you do? You talk to your company, and your company has the FBI, the local police on speed dial just for asking questions. People are taking this to a whole other degree. We've been doing this for a long time. The same questions I've asked this president, I've asked other presidents. But Brian, the only question that I've never asked a president, and no one else has: “Are you racist?” But still, we have -- we are ingrained in the First Amendment freedom of the press. There is a back and forth for a reason. We're the fourth estate, a powerful fourth estate. That's part of the accountability piece, and this separates us from Russia, from China, and third world countries that have a problem. They govern -- they govern the press. We are free and independent, and there's some people, to include this president, who feels we should not ask questions. But going back to what I said, we have -- we've been under attack this year, and even when I asked that question about, “Mr. President, are you a racist?” I was asking a question. I was not condemning. I was asking, because there's a groundswell. And what happens is we kind of are the conduit. We hear and throw it back to the White House, and the White House also uses us to throw back to the American public. But this -- while I was in the Roosevelt room that day, there was someone, a minister who chastised me and you could hear it on tape for asking that question and a series of questions. The dynamic has changed. 

STELTER: He called you a vulture, I think. 

RYAN: Well, he called the other people a vulture when they started walking up, but he told me I shouldn't have asked a question. 


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