© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer caused a stir on social media after he got into a heated exchange with veteran journalist April Ryan over the ‘perception problem’ facing the Trump administration.
It’s not the first time that President Trump’s spokesperson has been the focus of attention as his clash with Ryan, who is American Urban Radio Networks’ White House correspondent, went viral on Twitter.
Ryan, who has been in her role since Bill Clinton’s second term, began asking a question about the various controversies facing the White House before Spicer interjected. “Two and a half months in, you’ve got this [Sally] Yates story today, you’ve got other things going on, you’ve got Russia, you’ve got wiretapping,” she started. “No, we don’t have that,” objected Spicer.
“I’ve said it from the day I got here until whenever that there is no connection. You’ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” Spicer said. The quip instantly spawned a raft of Twitter jokes about the unglorified sauce.
Ivan the K @IvanTheK8h
Russian dressing joke from Sean Spicer. Lettuce pray for him
John Iadarola @johniadarola6h
I felt we should investigate Trump’s illegal actions, but then Sean Spicer made his “russian dressing” joke so I guess I’ll back off now.
Chelsea Handler @chelseahandler5h
Spicer said if Trump puts Russian salad dressing on his salad, somehow that’s a Russian connection…as if Trump has ever eaten a salad
Russian dressing was invented in New Hampshire. It has nothing to do with Russia.
Nebojša Malić @NebojsaMalic8h
I was looking at #Russiandressing at the grocery store last night, and today Spicer brings it up. Coincidence? Clearly Russian conspiracy!
Josh Billinson @jbillinson8h
Sean Spicer just killed it with that Russian dressing joke he totally hasn’t been rehearsing in his bathroom mirror for three weeks
Add your name @monicarooney8h
@adamed he’s always Putin Russian dressing on his salad
Glenn Thrush @GlennThrush8h
“Somehow if the president puts Russian dressing on his salad there’s a connection to Russia.” — Instant Spicer classic.
Everyone knows Russian dressing goes on Reubens, not salad. What kind of cover-up is Spicer trying to pull?
The dialogue between Ryan and Spicer escalated as Ryan expressed her disapproval of the press secretary’s answers.“You’re shaking your head. I appreciate it,” Spicer said sarcastically. “At some point, April, you’re going to have to take no for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion,”he continued.
The acrimonious exchange continued when Spicer took issue with Ryan’s refusal to accept his responses. “I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again,” he said sparking another avalanche of tweets.
Broderick L Greer @BroderickGreer9h
He literally told April Ryan to stop shaking her head as if he had the authority to do so and she is an autonomous human being
Melissa Morales @Melissa_In_DC7h
April Ryan is my hero. I’ve just been WAITING for a reporter to look at Sean Spicer and say, “No.” during a press briefing.
Bradd Jaffy @BraddJaffy9h
If you want to know why @AprilDRyan just tweeted “Lawd!!!!” — this is why. Watch the whole thing.
RogelioGarcia Lawyer @LawyerRogelio5h
I really thought #spiceyseanspicer was going to do this to reprorter April Ryan Today.
Maggie Haberman @maggieNYT9h
“Stop shaking your head again,” Spicer lectures @AprilDRyan, who is a grown woman.
Pedro da Costa @pdacosta7h
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted in shaking her head. #AprilRyan
Annie Linskey @AnnieLinskey9h
When is @AprilDRyan going to start smiling, nodding and just accepting what the WH says, the WH wonders.
Joe Concha @JoeConchaTV9h
Funny how reporters are defending April Ryan but completely ignored her evidence-free claim that Trump said “white people” built America.
Sam Sanders @samsanders5h
If u’ve ever been a Black face n a majority white space, u know the whole Sean Spicer/April Ryan headshake moment means mor than a headshake
Ryan later responded on MSNBC saying the press secretary was trying to make the White House “look better than what it does right now. Unfortunately, I was roadkill today.”
Spicer shot to prominence almost as soon as Trump took office when he accused reporters of understating the attendance at Trump’s inauguration. He has since been embroiled in other incidents including being accused of racism when he was caught on tape saying to an American woman of Indian descent that the US was “such a great country that allows you to be here.”
He also prompted a flurry of speculation when he attended a press briefing wearing an American flag pin upside down, an official distress signal. He later dismissed the incident as a mistake.