April Ryan accuses Sanders of 'street politics': 'I'm not a dummy'

White House correspondent April Ryan taunted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday, accusing Sanders of playing "street politics."

The commentary from Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, came after she said Sanders was blindsided by Rudy Giuliani's admission during an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity on Wednesday night that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE reimbursed his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair with the president. 

Giuliani contradicted both the president's and Sanders's past statements about being unaware of the payment from Cohen to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

ADVERTISEMENT

"It was a moment. She took this personally [being accused of being blindsided] and it was not a personal attack," Ryan said in a CNN interview that followed a testy exchange during Thursday's press briefing. "She admitted at that podium just moments ago and I'm sure she's watching in her office, 'Hi, Sarah,' that she literally said at that podium that she heard Rudy Giuliani while we heard it."

Questions about the Cohen payment dominated Thursday's press briefing, with Sanders mostly deferring questions about the payment to the president's outside counsel, which includes Giuliani.

Ryan, who serves as a contributor on CNN and often appears after the daily press briefing when a confrontation with Sanders occurs, went on to say she believed Sanders was watching CNN in her office and turned to the camera to address her directly at one point.

"She was watching, she found out all of the information while she was watching Fox last night. So she was blindsided. This was not a personal attack on her. And for her to say something like, 'You don't know me' — that was very street," Ryan said.

"I know there are street politics here but that was very street. I've been here 21 years from this White House, from the second term of Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonGiuliani: Trump legal team ready to argue Mueller subpoena 'before the Supreme Court' In trade war, US has economic edge, but China has political advantage Will White House press briefings return to what they used to be? MORE until the first term of Donald J. Trump. I've seen impeachment, I've seen war, I've seen peace. So I understand the process. I'm not a dummy and do not discredit me. That's what my comeback was," Ryan said.

Ryan and Sanders have sparred numerous times in the past, including a notable interaction during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in which Ryan questioned whether Sanders actually baked a pecan pie featured in a photo she shared on Twitter.

 

Giuliani's appearance on "Hannity" on Wednesday night drew big ratings for Fox News, bringing in 3.49 million viewers. 
 
MSNBC's highest-rated host, Rachel Maddow, took second with 2.69 million total viewers, while CNN's Anderson Cooper rounded out the top three with 1.02 million viewers.