Mr. Trump also laced into another African-American journalist, Abby Phillip of CNN, who asked the president if he wanted the new acting attorney general, Matthew G. Whitaker, to “rein in” the investigation being led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
“What a stupid question that is,” the president replied to Ms. Phillip. “What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot — you ask a lot of stupid questions.”
In a statement, CNN said Ms. Phillip “did not ask a ‘stupid’ question today at the White House.”
“In fact, she asked the most pertinent question of the day,” the network added.
Mr. Trump, who relishes jousting with reporters, has offered tough words for journalists of all races and genders. In the past few days, though, he has insulted or replied harshly to several African-American women, including Ms. Ryan, Ms. Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor, a White House correspondent for PBS.
At the Wednesday news conference, Mr. Trump repeatedly told Ms. Ryan to “sit down,” accusing her of interrupting a male reporter, as she tried to ask a question about voter suppression. When Ms. Alcindor asked Mr. Trump about Republicans and white nationalists, he called her query “a racist question.”
Ms. Ryan, speaking on CNN on Friday, said that the three presidents she covered before Mr. Trump “understood that reporters were part of the underpinning of this nation.”
“Sometimes we ask questions that they did not like, and maybe there would have been a bit of retaliation and fight-back,” Ms. Ryan added. “But at the end of the day it was part of the American process.”