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Sarah Huckabee Sanders shuts down April Ryan's 'rude' questions on NFL protests

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shut down reporter April Ryan after she interrupted her and her colleagues over the issue of NFL national anthem protests. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot composite)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took exception to interruptions from reporter April Ryan in the latest combative altercation between the two during a White House press briefing Tuesday.

Here's what happened

Sanders was answering questions about President Trump's recent decision to cancel a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles.

"The president doesn't think this is an issue simply about free speech," she said, "he thinks it's about respecting the men and women of our military, it's about respecting our national anthem, and it's about standing out of pride for that."

"And one of the greatest equalizers we can have is to provide a level playing field and the president has worked increasingly hard to make sure that that happens," Sanders said later when asked about what Trump has done about racial disparity in the U.S.

“Is the president aware of that, Sarah?”

When she tried to go to another reporter, April Ryan interrupted and demanded her question be addressed.

"Is the president aware that this is about police-involved shootings and not about disrespecting the flag?" Ryan asked. "Is the president aware of that, Sarah?"

Sanders tried to take a different question from another reporter, but Ryan persisted and interrupted again.

"There's an underlying issue and he keeps going on about disrespect of the flag and soldiers," Ryan said, "there are black and brown soldiers that fight in the military as well who feel that taking a knee, bringing attention to police-involved shootings is something that this White House should deal with."

"Is the president aware that taking the knee is about police-involved shootings?" she asked.

"The president has made his position crystal clear, and that is that," Sanders responded before being interrupted by Ryan again. "I let you rudely interrupt me and your colleague, I'm gonna ask that you allow me to finish my answer. I would be happy to answer if you would stop talking long enough to let me do that."

"The president is not gonna back down"

"The president has made his position crystal clear on this topic," Sanders repeated, "he feels strongly that standing for our national anthem is something that we should do, something that matters to what makes our country special and unique and what sets us apart. He's not going to waiver on that, he's not going to apologize for it, and frankly, more than 70 percent of Americans agree with him on that matter."

"If you go back to what the original intent was," she continued, "this has been made a political argument, of which the president is not gonna back down from and he's been clear on it."

"But people are standing up," Ryan continued, "so will he deal with the issue of police-involved shootings."

"And the NFL is now telling people they have to stand," she kept on. "Will the president deal with the issue of police-involved shootings?

"I'm gonna deal with the issue of addressing your colleague's question," Sanders said, moving on to another question.

Here's the video of their combative interaction:

The president announced Monday that he would be canceling a visit with the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles and blamed players who were unwilling to stand for the national anthem. Some noted that no Eagles player had kneeled during the national anthem the entire season for which they won their championship.

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