Here’s a story that’s something of a blast from the past. Many of you are likely familiar with White House press correspondent April Ryan. She’s worked with a variety of outlets including CNN and often lands interviews with notable people in politics. But she really drew a lot of headlines during the Trump administration, becoming famous (or infamous) for posing questions that seemed to have less to do with seeking information for the public and more to do with scoring political points and painting the administration in a bad light. She drew many rebukes from White House press secretaries and even from Trump himself.
This week, she was interviewed in her hometown of Baltimore by WJZ News anchor Vic Carter. She was asked about the difficulties she encountered while covering the Trump White House. In addition to what she considered the poor treatment she received from the administration, she claimed that she had become a target of potential violence, presumably from Trump supporters. But among the claims she made during the interview, the most dramatic was when she told Vic Carter that someone had mailed a bomb to her house. (CBS Baltimore, emphasis added)
WJZ anchor Vic Carter sat down with the Baltimore native and Morgan State graduate to discuss her career, the ups and downs and what she would tell young Black children about pursuing their dreams.
Ryan talked about her years covering former President Donald Trump, which became the most tumultuous time of her life.
She was called a loser by Trump and she said she received death threats and had a bomb mailed to her home.
“I watch her get up, you talk about somebody who is a loser, she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Trump told reporters while outside the White House. “She gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise, she gets a contract with, I think CNN, but she is very nasty and she shouldn’t be.”
I’d never heard anything about this so I decided to investigate. Ryan reportedly had received bomb threats and other sorts of threatening communications which were investigated. Unfortunately, there are too many deranged people out there who will lash out by making bomb threats, but thankfully all but a vanishingly small number of them are hoaxes intended to intimidate the victim. But when someone goes through with their plan and mails an actual bomb, that would definitely attract the attention of the FBI. And when the intended victim in question is a White House press correspondent, that should be national headlines.
Strangely, however, I couldn’t find a single report in the news archives about April Ryan receiving a bomb in the mail going back to well before Trump’s election. That seemed odd. I dug further and happened upon this radio show hosted in October of 2018 by Jonathan Capehart. (You can fast forward to roughly the five-minute mark which is when Ryan begins participating.) April Ryan was one of his guests for the first segment of the show and they were talking about a series of bombs that had been sent out to various Democratic politicians (and to CNN) that week. Ryan recounted to Capehart how she herself had been the recipient of bomb threats, saying people who likely supported Trump had “sent me death threats,” eventually forcing her to move to a new home.
But at no point did she mention receiving an actual bomb in the mail. Wouldn’t you think that if there was ever a perfectly apt moment to bring that fact up, it would have been then? And yet she only spoke of “threats,” not the receipt of an actual bomb. Ryan is the author of multiple books and still makes the media rounds on a regular basis, and yet this terrifying event never seems to come up. Could that be some sort of oversight, or is she inflating her personal story to make it sound more dramatic? Perhaps this actually happened and I’m just not very skilled at searching news archives. If so, I’ll add a correction and an update if evidence turns up.
I reached out to April Ryan for clarification of when the receipt of the bomb-by-mail took place, but no response was received by the time of this publication.