The Tuesday press briefing was all over the issue of Trump’s dispute with the Philadelphia Eagles. Sarah Sanders received multiple questions over Trump’s decision to not include the Eagles players in the celebration in their honor Tuesday at the White House. Fewer than five players would have been in attendance had the Eagles remained invited, according to reports.
Sanders cited the low attendance numbers and Trump’s ongoing feud with NFL kneelers as the reason for the cancellation. Sanders had just finished explaining that the anthem protest was not a first amendment issue, saying “It’s about respecting our national anthem and it’s about standing out of pride for that,” when there was an outburst.
Her answer was not good enough for Urban Radio Network White House Correspondent April Ryan, who began to yell without being called upon. “Is the president aware that … ” Ryan yelled. “Sorry, Stephen, go ahead,” Sarah said to the reporter she was attempting to call upon. The tense exchange continued until Sanders sighed and let Ryan finish her question.
Ryan said, “The underlying issue that keeps going about disrespect of the flag and soldiers,” She said, “Is the president aware that taking the knee is about police-involved shootings?”
Sanders said bluntly, “The president has made his position crystal clear,” Sanders said before getting interrupted again by Ryan. “I let you rudely interrupt me and your colleagues,” Sanders snapped, “I’m going to ask that you allow me to finish my answer.”
Sanders continued to an unruly Ryan, “I would be happy to answer it if you stop talking long enough.”
Ultimately, Sanders said “The president has made his position crystal clear on this topic. He feels strongly that standing for our National Anthem is something that we should do, something that matters to what makes our country special and unique and what sets us apart. He’s not going to waver on that. He’s not going to apologize for it.” Sanders continued, “Frankly, more than 70% of Americans agree with him on that matter. This has been made a political argument of which the president is not going to back down from and he’s been clear on it.”
Ryan continued to yell at Sanders, to which she said, “April, I’ve addressed your question and I’m not going to continue to engage with you.”
Ryan continued the belligerence, shouting if the White House will address the issue of racial injustice.
“I’m going to deal with the issue of addressing your colleague’s question,” Sanders declared, sternly looking onto the next reporter.
After the fireworks, that reporter said “Always happy to yield to a colleague … ”