On Wednesday, a staffer at a regional Housing and Urban Development office for New York and New Jersey got into a heated war of words with White House correspondent April Ryan.
HUD staffer Lynne Patton launched the petty personal attack against the esteemed reporter and CNN contributor on Twitter in response to Ryan’s claim that she and other reporters had been receiving death threats due to Donald Trump‘s continued attacks on the media.
Ryan said on CNN that news organizations have had “the FBI and local police on speed dial” to handle threats against reporters since Trump began his attacks on journalists and labeling any negative reports on his administration “fake news”.
April Ryan also said on-air that she, personally, had received death threats over her coverage of the president and his administration.
Patton called Ryan out on Twitter:
“As a conservative black female who has publicly worked for & supported @realDonaldTrump, I’ve been getting death threats from fellow minorities on the left for the past 3 years — so welcome to the club. @AprilDRyan,” she wrote.
According to the New York Daily News, Patton and Ryan went back and forth on Twitter for a while before Patton wrote, “I hear #MissPiggys still on a rampage. Gee, I must’ve struck a nerve, @AprilDRyan! #BankruptBlogger.”
Ryan responded by saying, “Kick rocks little girl. Find a job! @LynnePatton I ain’t the one! Girl bye. Blogger girl I do news. What do you do? Do you work at HUD or play at it you washed up wedding planner. Girl bye!”
“Whose wedding are you planning now and what wig company do you work for?” she added.
In a message to her Twitter followers, April Ryan also wrote, “For the record I don’t know this woman @LynnePattonHUD and don’t know why my name is in her mouth. Since she started targeting me yesterday over my death threats I have found out.”
“I’m coming to gun you all down”
April Ryan’s comments about the hostile and dangerous climate faced by reporters in the Trump era came starkly into focus last week when a 19-year-old grocery store clerk from Michigan was arrested after making 22 calls to CNN threatening to kill reporters.
Two weeks ago, Brandon Griesemer began making a series of calls to CNN threatening violence and using slurs against African-Americans and Jewish people.
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down,” Griesemer said in one call.
“You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f***ing gun down every single last one of you. I have a team of people. It’s going to be great, man,” he said in another. “You gotta get prepared for this one.”
Griesemer was charged and arrested last Friday over the threats, but that same day, he was released on $10,000 bail.
Patton eventually took down the incendiary tweet in which she called celebrated journalist April Ryan “Miss Piggy” and tweeted out an apology after the heated public exchange.
“I deleted my last tweet by choice. No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan,” she wrote an hour after the tweet was posted.
“My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better.”
There’s been no word if Secretary Ben Carson was aware of the Twitter war of words.