White House correspondent April Ryan looks back over her nearly 20-year career covering three presidents and hopes to make it a fourth in January. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun video)
A Trump administration official has apologized to Baltimore County resident and journalist April Ryan for comparing her to the plump pink Muppet Miss Piggy.
“I deleted my last tweet by choice,” Lynne Patton wrote on her personal Twitter account.
“No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan. My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better.”
Patton is administrator of Region II of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees New York and New Jersey.
The apology was issued late Wednesday after Patton deleted a Tweet that lashed out at Ryan, the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, a CNN political analyst and author of the book “The Presidency in Black and White.”
According to CNN, the deleted Tweet read: "I hear #MissPiggys still on a rampage. Gee, I must've struck a nerve, @AprilDRyan! #BankruptBlogger.”
It seems to have been just the latest in an escalating war of words between the two prominent women. The salvo appears to have begun after Ryan reacted to reports Monday that a Michigan man had been arrested for making nearly two dozen threatening phone calls earlier this month to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Michigan allegedly said: “Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down.”
On Tuesday, Ryan tweeted, “Words create the atmosphere for this foolishness,” an oblique reference to those who blame the threat in part on the Trump administration’s inflammatory rhetoric against the press.
Patton sent out a tweet implying that while Ryan didn’t deserve death threats, her defenders should also be concerned about biased reporting that denigrates the Trump administration. Ryan called her a “fool” and matters escalated from there.
Both women attacked one another’s credentials. Patton repeatedly described Ryan as “a blogger working for a bankrupt outlet.”
For her part, Ryan tweeted, “You are not relevant and so desire to be.” She referred to Patton’s background as an event planner who previously oversaw Eric Trump’s wedding, and seemed to question if Patton’s hair is her own.
“Whose wedding are you planning now?” she tweeted and then, later: “Bye, wig!”
Around that time, Patton tweeted her “Miss Piggy” remark.
Ryan continued to tweet, but did not respond immediately to the Muppet comparison. But, after she began receiving public support from, among others, Patton’s boss, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, she tweeted:
“No one should ever publicly dismiss any death threats someone gets. Not cool., [sic] particularly by gov official on tax payers dime during the work day! That is how it all started. I Accept @RealBenCarson apoology [sic] and await his call.”