April Ryan, one of the few Black White House correspondents, did not receive an invitation to this year’s holiday party — the first time in her two-decade career covering the White House.
Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and a CNN contributor, told the Washington Post that she suspects her missing invite could be revenge for her many run-ins with the White House’s press office.
“I don’t think I was overlooked,” she said. “I think they don’t like me. For whatever reason, they have disdain for me.”
Ryan most recently questioned White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on whether she had actually baked a Thanksgiving pie she posted on Twitter days after both women had a frosty exchange during a White House press briefing.
While speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon this week about her back-and-forth with Huckabee, April noted how reporters of color are automatically treated as “opposition” and assumed to be supporters of the opposing party.
“Now if you question [the Trump White House], you’re considered someone from the opposing party,versus just [a journalist] trying to get the facts,” she said. “And God forbid, you are someone of a different race, I was speaking of myself, you’re considered an opposition. I don’t bring my politics, I just ask questions about what’s right and wrong, or things that go on in Washington.”
Ryan has missed only one annual party, and that was because she was pregnant. She has attended parties hosted by presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, even when she was not getting along with the administrations’ press secretaries.
But she seems unbothered by not receiving her invite this year, telling the Washington Post: “[The President]has the right to invite whoever he wants. He chose not to invite me. I’m good.”