April Ryan: Trump relishes verbal attacks against women of color

April Ryan: Trump relishes verbal attacks against women of color
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Journalist April Ryan in an op-ed over the weekend wrote President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE "relishes" attacking women of color and reserves special "venom" for his insults against them.

Ryan's op-ed comes after a week in which she says Trump publicly insulted three of the White House press corps's only black women.

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"It’s not hard to find the common denominator," Ryan wrote after listing the black female reporters Trump addressed this week. "Though there’s hardly anyone — from his predecessors to senators in his own party — he won’t try to shout down with ad hominem insults, Trump relishes, and injects venom into, verbal attacks against women of color." 

Ryan is a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and CNN contributor. She has been reporting on the presidency for over 21 years.

Last week, Trump called her out by name without prompting, threatening to revoke her press pass as he called her a "loser" who "doesn't know what the hell she is doing." He did so after pulling the press credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta.

Trump over the past several days also accused PBS's Yamiche Alcindor of asking a "racist question" when she asked him about reports that white nationalists have been emboldened by his rhetoric. He then went after CNN’s Abby Phillip, telling her she asked a "stupid question" and often asks "stupid questions" when she pressed him over his new acting attorney general, Matt WhitakerMatthew G WhitakerEx-federal prosecutor: 'Thank God' Whitaker is gone, Barr will bring 'integrity' back to DOJ GOP pollster says Dems are relitigating 2016 election with investigations of Trump Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ MORE.

Both Alcindor and Phillip are black women.

"You can tell ... by the way Trump has responded in recent days to more than one black female journalist that he sees our presence there as illegitimate," Ryan wrote in the op-ed. "If he didn’t, he’d either answer our questions or simply ignore them, not berate us."

"But when Trump denigrates black women, he’s sending the message that he doesn’t see us equally," she added.

She noted that Trump has also publicly insulted Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO Maxine Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO On The Money: Wells Fargo chief gets grilling | GOP, Pence discuss plan to defeat Dem emergency resolution | House chair sees '50-50' chance of passing Dem budget | Trump faces pressure over Boeing MORE (D-Calif.) as a "low-IQ individual" and called Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams "unqualified." 

"One or two of these instances might only leave you scratching your head," Ryan wrote. "But we’ve reached the point where it’s an unmistakable pattern."

Ryan on CNN on Friday defended herself as "a very highly educated, intelligent reporter who deserved an answer when she lobbed a question of the president who responded."

"And if that makes me a loser, then I've been a loser for 21 years," she said. 

"Every morning that I walk through the White House gates, I thank God for the privilege of doing the job that I do, and for the trust and faith that my listeners put in me to ask for, and bring home, the truth," Ryan wrote in the Post op-ed. "Every day, I try to remember that, to the best of my knowledge of my family’s history, I am only five generations removed from the last known member of my family to be enslaved, Joseph Dollar Brown, who was sold on the auction block in North Carolina."

"And I carry that knowledge with me, because I owe it to him to cover the presidency the best way I know how, no matter how much pushback I get," she wrote.