White House correspondent for National Urban Radio Networks April Ryan said the life of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta was "in jeopardy" at the Trump MAGA rally in Tampa earlier this week. Ryan lamented that while his life was in danger it is White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that gets a secret service detail for being "run out" of a restaurant.
"That's a serious moment and a serious place," Ryan fretted Wednesday on CNN Tonight. "And Jim Acosta's life, in my opinion, was in jeopardy that night. There was a safety issue. And you know she gets run out of a Hen House a couple weeks ago, and gets secret service detail."
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Ryan, blaming the victim, also said that Sarah Huckabee Sanders' taxpayer-funded security is for "something she stokes."
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CNN host Don Lemon said "we," speaking on behalf of journalists, "don't have a secret service detail." Ryan said reporters feel like their lives, their safety "is in jeopardy." She continued, "their lives are in jeopardy at these rallies. And something has got to stop."
Lemon said "we," again speaking on behalf of journalists, don't "begrudge" Sanders' security, but it is reporters that "need it" because of "this president and this administration."
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"This President, this President, President Donald J. Trump has stoked the flames for reporters to feel like they are in jeopardy," a worried Ryan said. "Their lives, their safety is in jeopardy. Their lives are in jeopardy at these rallies. And something has got to stop. She gets taxpayer funded. She gets payer funded security for something that she stokes."
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"Before they talk about you know the guns, Second Amendment, there's the First Amendment that beat out the Second Amendment, the First Amendment," Ryan said. "And within that First Amendment is freedom of the press. The founding fathers put into the constitution, this accountability piece."
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The President retweeted a video of his fans booing Acosta at his rally Tuesday night, sharing an instance of open hostility to the media with his 53 million Twitter followers.
The Trump rally gets ugly, his supporters our reporter doing a job, calling him a traitor and a liar. What does the President do? Well, re-tweet a video in support of the hecklers. That's why when I asked a second time if the White House condemns what happened to Jim Acosta, she's given a second chance to actually support press freedom, Sanders refuses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said no one was being violent last night in terms of hitting anybody, and no broadcaster was broadcasting state secrets. They were trying to do stand-ups at a public rally. And you had people yell over them, preventing them from doing their jobs, and yelling that their network sucks on live TV. Do you support that or not?
SARAH SANDERS, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Well, we certainly support freedom of the press. We also support freedom of speech, and we think that those things go hand in hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: April Ryan is here, CNN political analyst. Boy oh, boy, lowest common denominator. And then to have it defended from the podium, the most esteemed podium in the world. So what do you think? Why would she go back to a story that's been debunked years and years ago about the satellite phone?
APRIL RYAN, POLITICAL ANALSYST, CNN: Because she's trying to justify, trying to justify the irrational, trying to justify foolishness. There was no cause for that. And she's playing to this base that listens to the President. They need this to rally behind the President because this President is embattled. So when this President is embattled, he either goes to sports or talks about the knee, or he goes to the press, or he goes to some other things that just make his base get into frenzy and forget all the other stuff. That's what it is. It's a big shiny silver ball at the detriment of free press.
LEMON: You have been at the White House 20 years now.
RYAN: Twenty one.
LEMON: Twenty one. For Republican and Democratic administrations
LEMON: Right? I am sure this is very different. Do you sit in that room -- again as I said, the most esteemed podium in the world. Do you just sit there and say, I cannot believe that someone is standing here lying to the American media and the American people?
LEMON: Or trying to gaslight them. Do you -- is it surreal to you to sit there every day, because it's surreal...
(CROSSTALK) RYAN: Don, I am going to say this to you. Today, when she said that, I couldn't believe when she was talking about you know how we get leaked information. We don't just -- as the press, we don't just walk into an office and open files and take leaked information and report it. Our sources are giving it to us, giving it to us willingly because they're whistle blowers.
And for her to assume or to say that we are just gathering -- no. She's not -- she's changing the facts. If you want to say she's lying, she's lying. And I agree with that. It was shameful today. That podium is no place to play. You don't play with words. You don't play with moments. Everything comes to the White House from (Inaudible) and everything in between.
That's a serious moment and a serious place. And Jim Acosta's life, in my opinion, was in jeopardy that night. There was a safety issue. And you know she gets run out of a hen house a couple weeks ago, and gets secret service detail.
LEMON: We don't have secret service detail.
RYAN: That's what I'm saying. And this President, this President, President Donald J. Trump has stoked the flames for reporters to feel like they are in jeopardy. Their lives, their safety is in jeopardy. Their lives are in jeopardy at these rallies. And something has got to stop. She gets taxpayer funded. She gets payer funded security for something that she stokes.
RYAN: But yet, it's OK. It's freedom of speech for us. It is not right. And I talked to Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary under George W. Bush. And we had our back and forth quite a bit, you know. And I have had back and forths with even Robert Gibbs. It was always a friendly adversarial situation. It was never personal. This has now gone beyond politics. This has gone into life. This has gone into changing lives.
LEMON: But here's the thing that I have to say, a couple things here. Number one, we don't begrudge her security or anyone who has...
LEMON: They need it, and many journalists need it now because of what this President and this administration...
RYAN: I am raising my hand. I am one of those.
LEMON: OK. Yes, so a lot of us are. But you know it started with lock her up. You know build a wall, and all of these unseemly chants. And now it is CNN sucks. It's not about CNN. It's just about the behavior, oh, CNN is whining because they're -- it's not. If they had said it about any other network or any other person in the crowd, any other entity, we would be having this conversation, because this is supposed to be a dignified, respectful place to do the American people's business.
And he says what you're reading and hearing, what you're seeing, or whatever, it's not true. And so further stoking that.
RYAN: But see here's the problem. And people want to listen to the now and listen to this President and be entertained by him. And they talk about patriotism and talk about the constitution in this country. But they forget. Before they talk about you know the guns, second amendment, there's the first amendment that beat out the second amendment, the first amendment.
And within that first amendment is freedom of the press. The founding fathers put into the constitution, this accountability piece. You know if the checks and balances over here between executive -- judicial branches don't work, you still have a press that ask questions, to find out, to give transparency to a situation that -- or...
LEMON: Checks and balances.
RYAN: Yes, yes.
LEMON: I've got to go. And it's there for a reason, April, that it's the first one. It's in the first one.
RYAN: It's in the first one.