CNN’s April Ryan finally breaks silence on bodyguard incident
CNN political analyst April Ryan has broken her silence about the incident involving her bodyguard and a New Jersey journalist — who was forcibly removed from an event she was speaking at earlier this month.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the first person who wants to get a story out,” Ryan said during an interview on Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday morning.
“The only reason I’ve been quiet is because a threat of lawsuit,” she explained. “But here’s the thing: This is not about suppressing the press. My body of work stands for me.”
Asked if she had ordered her bodyguard, Joel Morris — who has since been fired — to physically remove New Brunswick Today editor Charlie Kratovil from the Aug. 3 New Jersey Parent Summit at The Heldrich Hotel, Ryan simply said: “No.”
“I did not order anyone to do anything,” she told Stelter, who mentioned a video showing Ryan speaking to Morris right before he removes Kratovil.
“At that moment, what you saw was my then-bodyguard, who was concerned with my safety, come to me and say, ‘Stop talking,’ ” Ryan claimed. “They [Morris and Kratovil] were about 100-feet away from me, I didn’t know what was going on or what was being said.”
Asked by Stelter what was wrong with having her speech videotaped, Ryan told him: “Well, you know, this was a private event for a non-profit organization in New Brunswick in New Jersey. Our contract stated that if someone wanted to come and film or if they wanted to interview me, they had to ask for permission. There was no request for permission and permission was not granted. Now, if they would have asked for permission, it would have been granted. And the reason why I do this, one — it’s standard in the industry. And two, I don’t want my words twisted.”
Ryan added, “That kind of thing can charge that atmosphere to create hate against me and death threats.”
Asked if she regretted the aggressive actions of Morris, who was later charged with assault, the longtime White House correspondent said “yes” — but then proceeded to defend him.
“I believe in my humble opinion — or I assume — he was concerned about my safety,” Ryan said.
Kratovil has repeatedly said that he received permission and had been invited to cover the parent summit.
“This was more than just an assault on me,” he tweeted afterwards. “This was an assault on freedom of the press.”
Kratovil said he spent two hours inside the Heldrich Hotel, filming other guests and speakers without any problems. It wasn’t until Ryan took the stage that he was confronted.
“I don’t think the things she said ring true about her role,” Kratovil told CNN after Ryan’s appearance on “Reliable Sources.”
“She couldn’t own up to it,” he said.
Ryan, in the past, has repeatedly voiced her outrage with President Trump and how he treats the media. She published a book last year — titled “Under Fire” — which talks about the challenges and attacks that journalists have faced in recent years.
“For whatever reason, she’s not going to accept responsibility,” Kratovil concluded. “It is very disappointing.”
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