Veteran White House reporter April Ryan has had a contentious relationship with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders almost from the get-go. But in an interview published today by The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan escalated hostilities by blaming Sanders’ anti-press rhetoric for her decision to to a bodyguard after threats on her life—going as far as to suggest Sanders should foot the bill.
Asked by the magazine whether she gets approached in public, Ryan replied that it happens constantly, saying the administration “put a target on my head.”
“Oh, I get approached a lot, when I’m walking from my car, when I’m walking to my car, when I eat. Anywhere I go,” she said. “I mean, they have put a target on my head, and I don’t know who’s who sometimes.”
She put a finer point on those remarks when asked about those people’s intentions, saying threats have made her feel compelled to hire a personal bodyguard at her own expense (emphasis added):
I’ve had some people wait for me outside the White House.... There is a concern now. I mean, I’ve had death threats, I’ve had craziness, so I have a real concern. An honest, real concern.... Do I have a bodyguard? Yes, I do. Am I paying for it? Yes, I am. And, I think [Sanders] should have to pay for it, especially if she’s stirring it up with her boss.
... I did not sign up for this. I was just doing a job.
She makes a compelling case. It’s wild that the anti-media climate—stirred up in no small part by Donald Trump’s calling reporters “enemies” and Sanders’ frequent combativeness when dealing with the press—is so intense that a reporter feels their personal safety is threatened enough that they need a bodyguard.
Ryan, who’s promoting an upcoming book, Under Fire: Reporting From the Front Lines of the Trump White House, also offered something like begrudging respect for another woman currently making the rounds with a White House memoir: her former friend, Omarosa Manigault Newman.
“Omarosa said a long time ago that she’d never be poor again. And if this is her way to be big and grand so she won’t be poor, so be it,” she said. “She’ll throw anybody under the bus to get a dollar, and to have herself shine. So, more power to her.... People will be around for the spectacle, and she is providing a spectacle.”