White House correspondent April Ryan told CNN's Erin Burnett that first lady Melania Trump isn't "culturally American."
Here's the context of her comments:
Ryan was talking to Burnett about the first lady's campaign to end cyberbullying and her comments about her efforts made Monday.
"There is you know obviously some pretty painful reality in the first lady taking on cyberbullying and being kind online and the first lady is well aware of that," Burnett said.
"Yes, she's well aware of her husband's cyberbullying," responded Ryan while chuckling. "He's considered by some, well many I would say in different sectors, one of the biggest bullies. He will call you out in a moment's notice."
'She is learning the ways'
"And she stood in front of him and basically said she wants to show young people how it's done and do right and they will pick up those habits," Ryan continued. "I wonder if the president will change."
"There are realities, there are a lot of realities that she is dealing with," Ryan added. "This is, this is a first lady who is not culturally American, but she is learning the ways, and this is not just an American issue, these are not just American issues, these are international issues."
"Cyberbullying is an international issue, social media is international," she concluded.
Here's the video of April Ryan's comments about Melania Trump:
Ryan was referring to the first lady being an immigrant to the country, but she had first moved to the United States from her native Slovenia in 1996, and became a permanent resident in 2001. She later married Donald Trump in 2005 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006.
White House Director of Strategic Response Steven Cheung responded to Ryan's comments on his Twitter account.
"What does that even mean?" he tweeted. "On a day when Mrs. Trump unveiled a very important initiative #BeBest, reporters can't bring themselves to talk about anything but rumors and innuendo."
Ryan was also criticized by many on the right for her various spats with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Most recently Ryan accused Sanders Friday of going "street" on her and threatening a physical fight.