Washington, D.C. (Nov. 9, 2018) — President Donald Trump rejected National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) member and CNN White House reporter Abby Phillip’s question today as “stupid” on national television. Phillip asked the President if he wanted acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to “rein in Mueller,” referring to Robert Mueller the special counsel investigating possible Russian influence in the 2016 election. Whitaker has been critical of the Mueller investigation.
NABJ members and other journalists have taken to social media expressing their frustration with the president’s continual attacks.
“The most powerful man in the free world is verbally abusing journalists,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “The past two years have been filled with assaults on the media and Donald Trump’s comments this week have reached an all-time low with attacks on three black female journalists. His dismissive comments toward journalists April Ryan, Abby Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor are appalling, irresponsible, and should be denounced.”
Trump responded to Phillip, a former Washington Post reporter and Harvard graduate, “What a stupid question. What a stupid question that is. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.”
The president also used demeaning and insulting language about American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan, calling her “nasty” and a “loser.” He further scolded her, telling her to “sit down” several times during Wednesday’s news conference at the White House.
During that same news conference President Trump was also dismissive of Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour. She asked if the president’s rhetoric was encouraging white nationalists. The president responded, “That is such a racist question.”
The NABJ is calling on the president to stop his verbal assault on black women journalists and all journalists, and to provide truthful answers instead of insults.