April Ryan Badgers Huckabee Sanders, Refuses to Give Floor to Another Reporter

Press secretary: I would be happy to answer 'if you would stop talking long enough to allow me to' do so

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CNN political analyst April Ryan, unsatisfied by an answer from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday, ignored the press secretary's move to take a question from another reporter and repeatedly attempted to press her on the topic of police brutality.

In response to a question from Ryan, Sanders argued President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL protests during the national anthem were not about restricting free speech but about respect for America. After stating that position, Sanders said she would take "one last question" and called on CBS White House reporter Steven Portnoy, but Ryan insisted on asking about police brutality.

"Is the president aware this is about police-involved shootings and not about disrespecting the flag?" Ryan asked.

"Steven, go ahead," Sanders said, but Ryan continued to talk.

"There’s an underlying issue," Ryan said. "It just keeps going about ‘disrespect of the flag and soldiers.' There are black and brown soldiers that fight in the military as well who feel that taking a knee, bringing an attention to police-involved shootings is something that this White House should deal with. Is the president aware that taking the knee is about police-involved shootings?"

Sanders chided Ryan for being rude and said Trump has been "crystal clear" on this issue, saying standing for the anthem is something all Americans should do.

"I would be happy to answer it if you would stop talking long enough to allow me to do that," Sanders told Ryan as she continued to interject.

"If you go back to what the original intent was, this has been made a political argument of which the president is not going to back down from and he's been clear on it," Sanders said.

Ryan continued to ask about police-involved shootings before Sanders was able to move on to the next reporter. "Will he deal with the issue of police-involved shootings?" Ryan repeated.

"I am going to deal with the issue of addressing your colleague," Sanders said.

The press secretary once again called on Portnoy, and he was finally had the chance to ask his question about the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Always happy to yield to a colleague," Portnoy said.

The NFL protests are back in the news after the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited from the White House the day before their scheduled visit. The cancellation came after the majority of the team elected not to come to the event.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is the deputy war room director at the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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