White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went out of his way to be pleasant to American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan during Wednesday’s briefing, less than 24 hours after scolding her to “stop shaking your head.”
Spicer called on Ryan first when it was time to answer questions from reporters, smiling as he simply said, “April.”
She responded, “Well, thank you Sean” and the press secretary asked, “How are you today?”
“I’m fine and how are you,” Ryan responded to which Spicer answered, “fantastic,” as the room erupted in laughter.
It was a different story on Tuesday when Ryan asked Spicer how the Trump administration might try to “revamp its image” because of what she cited as a series of failures, pointing to Russian ties and wiretapping claims as examples.
“I get it, but 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,” Spicer said.
Ryan tried to interject, but Spicer didn’t let up.
“I appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is — hold on,” he said. “At some point, report the facts.”
He continued: “I’m sorry that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head.”
Spicer went on to criticize Ryan’s follow-up question about Condoleezza Rice’s recent meeting with Trump, and the veteran reporter apparently shook her head once again.
“I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again,” Spicer said
“I’ve been here for 20 years, since 1997, the second term of Bill Clinton,” Ryan told MSNBC’s Katy Tur after the bizarre confrontation. “We’ve never seen anything like this before. And my question was simple. How do you change the perception problem, basically? I don’t know verbatim what I said, but that was the impetus and the crux of my question. And it went off into this Russian dressing, no shaking my head or whatever.”
Hillary Clinton defended Ryan at a speaking event in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
Related stories from TheWrap: