Trump threatens to take revenge on journalists who do not show "respect"

Trump also joined another African-American journalist, Abby Phillip of CNN, who asked the president if he wanted the new attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, to "take out" investigations led by special adviser, Robert S. Mueller III.

"What a stupid question," the president replied to Mrs. Phillip. "What a stupid question, but I look at you a lot – you ask a lot of stupid questions."

In a statement, CNN said that Mrs. Phillip "did not ask a question" stupid "at the White House today."

"In fact, he asked the most pertinent question of the day," added the network.

Mr. Trump, who appreciates the joust with journalists, has offered harsh words to journalists of all races and genres. In recent days, however, he has insulted or harshly responded to several African American women, including Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor, the White House correspondent for PBS.

At Wednesday's press conference, Trump repeatedly told Mrs. Ryan to "sit down", accusing her of interrupting a male journalist, while trying to ask a question about the suppression of voters. When Mrs. Alcindor asked Trump to talk about white republicans and nationalists, she called her question "a racist question".

Ms. Ryan, speaking on CNN Friday, said that the three presidents who held before Mr. Trump "understood that journalists were part of this nation's support".

"Sometimes we ask questions that he did not like, and maybe there would be a bit of retaliation and fighting," Mrs. Ryan added. "But in the end it was part of the American process."

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