April Ryan, Huckabee Sanders Have Contentious Exchange Over National Anthem Protests

• September 28, 2017 4:06 pm

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and CNN contributor April Ryan got into a contentious exchange Thursday over the protest of many NFL players during the playing of the national anthem.

Ryan and Sanders debated the actions of NFL players and President Donald Trump's condemnation of the protests, which he says show lack of respect for the flag.

Ryan said the protesting players had said it was not about the flag but about protesting for such things as women's rights and civil rights.

"What does the president say when you look at history and see how people love this country but wanted to challenge the system to make it better?" Ryan asked.

"I think if we're going to look at history, we should look at the thousands of Americans who have given their life to protect that flag, to protect that anthem. We should be celebrating those people," Sanders said, adding she wanted to finish her statement as Ryan interrupted.

Sanders said the White House would always be for celebration of the American flag and that would not change.

"Just to clarify on that—" Ryan said.

"I don't think there's much to clarify," Sanders said. "It's pretty black and white."

Ryan said that it was a major issue and a racial issue to some,  but Sanders continued to defend the Trump administrations' belief that respect should be shown for the flag first.