In a new segment I’m calling fake news or not, I focus on a report that got sidelined by the Michael Flynn debacle, which alleges the Donald Trump administration is keeping a dossier on reporters, specifically African American reporters.
The statement comes from April Ryan, a familiar face on MSNBC and NBC, who has been a reporter for decades. She’s currently the White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks.
According to Ms. Ryan who is African American, she had a heated exchange with White House communications officer Omarosa Manigault who is also African American.
Omaraosa is famous for being the widow of actor Michael Clarke Duncan as well as a controversial figure from the first season of the Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. Her battles with Piers Morgan were epic:
As you can imagine, from that clip, one could see how Ms. Manigault could intimidate a person. A report from The New Yorker says she did just that:
According to the Washington Post, the exchange between Manigualt and April Ryan…took place outside White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s office. “She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan told the paper. “I said, ‘You better back up.’ … She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be.”
Post reporter Abby Phillip was one of several people who witnessed the incident. Phillip said she didn’t hear every word, but Ryan told her afterward that she felt Manigault’s behavior was “Secret Serviceable,” meaning it warranted intervention by law enforcement.
In her defense, this week Omarosa released a recording disputing the Ryan’s account of their exchange:
“She came in [to the White House press-staff area] hot,” hurling insults, Manigault told the Washington Post.
“She came in with an attitude. For her to characterize me as the bully — I’m so glad we have this tape … because it’s ‘liar, liar, pants on fire.’”
Ms. Manigault confessed the White House regularly records conversations with reporters (or presumably anyone) who enters the press staff’s office (this appears to be illegal under DC law if recordings are made in secret).
The report goes on to state:
Fox News White House reporter John Roberts, one of the journalists who listened to the recording, said he heard terse words and accusations, but he wouldn’t characterize the conversation as a confrontation. He said he didn’t hear the word dossier, but parts of the recording were hard to make out.
Ryan claims that Manigault “selected pieces” of their conversation. “She wants to spin it like it’s a catfight, but she edited that tape,” she said. “You don’t hear her screaming. This is about her smearing me.”
So is this true or is it fake news?
Someone who has nothing to hide, hides nothing. Why does Ms. Manigault select only Fox News reporter to listen to the recording if it is exculpatory?
Until the full recording is released, I’m calling it a true story.
This is the new world we live in I suppose.
CORRECTION:Ms. Manigault was not married to Michael Clarke Duncan – they were engaged. Thanks @DeniseItsniecey