American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan asked a particularly odd question of White House press secretary Sean Spicer following President Donald Trump‘s visit to the African-American History Museum Tuesday that I wanted to flag: [Emphasis added]
RYAN: What did the president gain from his tour today? You talked about where he visited, the exhibits that he visited. Did he also visit [the slavery exhibit]? And the reason why I’m asking this is because when he was candidate Trump, he said things like, you know, ‘We made this country,’ meaning white America, not necessarily black.
SPICER: I don’t know why you would say that. What do you mean–?
RYAN: No, no, no. He said that. I heard him say that.
I actually have to side with Spicer here. What on earth is Ryan talking about? When did she hear that?
Earlier I posted the transcript of this remark to Twitter and asked if anyone knew what incident she was talking about — no one did. Someone who saw that tweet asked Ryan about on Twitter. Here’s her response:
@Skylar_Writer look it up and you will find it
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) February 21, 2017
Okay, but it seems like it ought to be Ryan’s responsibility to back up her claims, not for others to search for proof. Reporters wouldn’t accept it if Spicer backed up every single factual claim with “look it up.”
Anyway, I tried to look it up. I searched up and down for any evidence that candidate Trump ever intimated that white America specifically deserved credit for building America, or that he ever said something like “we made this country” in a context where “we” obviously referred to white Americans. I came up short.
Given that this would’ve certainly caused an immediate uproar and would’ve been seized on by the Clinton campaign, I have to conclude that my memory isn’t failing and it never happened. But I’m willing to suggest that I might be a victim to my own ideological blinders, and I might have never seen this story because I don’t peruse liberal or African-American news sources. Is there an incident here I’m missing?
My sneaking suspicion is that Ryan might have seen an opinionated take on Trump’s comments and mistaken it for news. That is to say, Trump said something generic about how “we” made America, someone else wrote a snarky tweet or headline about how that obviously only applied to whites, and Ryan saw it. I certainly don’t think there was any malice on her part.
Mediaite’s tip line is always open. If anyone knows what Ryan was referring to, we’d love to clear it up. But I wonder if she might owe the president an apology.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[Image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.