White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has told a female reporter to “stop shaking your head” in his daily press briefing.
Mr Spicer appeared to become annoyed after April Ryan, a veteran African American journalist and White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, asked him what the Trump administration would do to restore its public image following its slew of controversies and reports of its ties to Russia.
Mr Spicer became visibly defensive as he responded to the journalist’s question about Russia and argued everyone has reached the conclusion there was no “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia – overlooking the fact investigations continue to be ongoing.
The Trump aide said: “I'm sorry that disgusts you. You're shaking your head”.
Mr Spicer said Ryan appeared "hell-bent" on pushing her own image of the White House when she asked what President Donald Trump might be doing to repair his relationship with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who did not support his campaign and is meeting with the president this week.
As she protested, Mr Spicer said: “I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again.”
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
Ms Ryan, a long-time political journalist, reacted to the incident moments afterwards on Twitter.
She also addressed the row in an interview later, saying: "Sean is being the White House press secretary, talking about and trying to make this administration look better than what it does right now, and unfortunately I was roadkill today."
Hilary Clinton alluded to Mr Spicer’s rebuttal of Ms Ryan during one of the first public speeches she has made since losing the election in San Francisco on Tuesday. Mr Trump’s former Democrat rival did not refer to the journalist by name but said: "Too many women have had a lifetime of practice taking this kind of indignity in stride”.
Ms Ryan recently grabbed headlines after Mr Trump asked if she would help set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
When questioned about whether he planned to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of African-American lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Mr Trump asked Ms Ryan if she could organise it.
"I'll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?" the billionaire property developer said. "Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?
Ms Ryan replied by saying "no” and adding that she was "just a reporter."
Mr Trump continued: "Set up the meeting. Let's go, set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it's great. The Congressional Black Caucus."
After the news conference, Ms Ryan tweeted: “I am a journalist, not a convener! But thank you for answering my questions.”
During this week’s fiery exchange with Ms Ryan, Mr Spicer also made a joke about Russian salad cream which was immediately picked up on and mocked on Twitter.
In the middle of the press breifing, Mr Spicer quipped: "If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection.”
"Sean Spicer equating #RussiaGate to dressing is beyond ludicrous. Trump is under FBI investigation!" said one critic.Reuse content