April Ryan, an American Urban Radio Networks correspondent, implied Wednesday on CNN that Sean Spicer has a problem with women after being informed the White House press secretary had praised her and complimented her toughness.
Spicer and Ryan got into a heated confrontation Tuesday during the White House daily press briefing, with Spicer telling Ryan to "stop shaking [her] head" as he was answering her question, which sparked a social media backlash from journalists.
Spicer downplayed the spat in a Wednesday interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
"She's a tough reporter," Spicer said of Ryan. "She grew up in Baltimore. She knows how to mix it up with the best of them."
"But to suggest that somehow because of her gender or her race she'd be treated differently I think is frankly demeaning to her," Spicer continued. "She's a tough woman that fights every day to get out there for her publication and her audience to get the questions that she wants answered and I respect that. I really do."
Ryan did not seem moved when told about Spicer's comments.
"Apparently Spicer praised you in some interview," said host Brooke Baldwin, "calling you tough, that he treats all reporters the same, and any suggestion of any iota of sexism is actually just an insult to you. Would you agree with that?"
"Well, I thank him for saying I'm tough, but I still bleed and I hurt too at the same time," Ryan said.
"He came out today in the briefing, talking about how this administration has really worked with women and women's issues," she continued. "But what happened to me was an incident, but there was also another story about a female reporter who was called an idiot from Politico."
Ryan was referring to Spicer calling Politico‘s Tara Palmeri "an idiot with no sources" in an email to Breitbart after she tweeted that Trump might replace top adviser Reince Priebus.
"So, it's two women," Ryan noted.
"I think there was a reset moment to sift it out," Ryan said. "And we all are in there together in this mosh pit trying to ask questions. But you have to remember, this is a male-dominated town."
Shortly before the interview, Spicer gave Ryan the first question during Wednesday's White House press briefing. The two appeared to clear the air, having a friendly exchange, but apparently Ryan is not over the incident.