Critics are slamming CNN contributor April Ryan for suggesting that First Lady Melania Trump is "not culturally American" when discussing the “Be Best” campaign to combat cyberbullying on Monday night.
“This is a first lady who is not culturally American, but she is learning the ways and this is not just an American issue. These are not just American issues,” Ryan told “OutFront” host Erin Burnett. “These are international issues. Cyberbullying is an international issue. Social media is international and also the opioid addiction issue, so it’s not just here, but it’s abroad as well.”
CNN did not respond to a request for clarification.
The first lady was born in Slovenia but has been an American citizen since 2006 and has lived in the country since 1996.
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that “Ryan showing that she's anything but a journalist” and is more of a liberal advocate.
“Her comments are absurd considering how long the first lady has lived in this country,” Houck said. “Regardless of one's views of the president, the first lady is an example of 'Only in America' could this be possible.”
This isn’t the first time Ryan has caused a stir and Houck said her “comments about the president and behavior in the briefing room show Trump Derangement Syndrome in full force.”
Conservative commentator Carmine Sabia told Fox News that he remembers “when people were called racist” for saying the same thing about President Barack Obama.
“I also remember people like April Ryan saying that we are a nation of immigrants. This is racism and reprehensible and she should be ashamed,” Sabia said.
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck agrees and took to Twitter to blast Ryan for the comment.
“April Ryan - I know when some said that Obama wasn’t fully ‘culturally American’ reporters cried racism. Now that you, a reporter, are saying the same, can they cry racism? Or do you just hate foreigners? Wow, this is easy, I see why the left likes it,” Beck wrote.
White House Director of Strategic Response Steven Cheung wrote, “What does that even mean? On a day when Mrs. Trump unveiled a very important initiative #BeBest, reporters can't bring themselves to talk about anything but rumors and innuendo.”
Ryan twisted Sarah Sanders' words on Thursday night in order to make the absurd suggestion that the White House press secretary is looking for a physical confrontation with the star reporter.
After Ryan asked a combative question during Thursday’s press briefing, accusing Sanders of being "blindsided" by comments Rudy Giuliani recently made on Fox News, Sanders told Ryan, “Well, with all due respect, you actually don’t know much about me in terms of what I feel and what I don't.”
Ryan misquoted Sanders while speaking to CNN colleague Don Lemon on-air afterwards, claiming the press secretary said, “You don’t know me,” before declaring the phrase to be fighting words.
“For Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the presidential spokesperson, the mouthpiece for the President of the United States, to say, ‘You don’t know me,’ in certain quarters in this nation, that starts a physical fight,” Ryan said. “I was very shocked. It was street. I will even go beyond that, it was gutter.”
Ryan also famously accused Sanders of lying about whether or not she baked a pie for Thanksgiving.