April Ryan faces backlash for saying Melania Trump is 'not culturally American'

White House correspondent April Ryan is facing criticism for saying Melania Trump is “not culturally American.”

Ryan made that remark during a discussion on CNN about the first lady’s new ‘Be Best’ initiative, which aims to address cyberbullying, opioid addiction, and other issues related to children.

“This is a first lady who is not culturally American, but she is learning the ways,” Ryan said.

“These are not just American issues,” Ryan added. “Cyberbullying is an international issue. Social media is international and also the opioid addiction issue. So it’s not just here, but it’s abroad as well. And we’ll see if she takes that message abroad.”

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Melania Trump unveils Be Best campaign
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Melania Trump unveils Be Best campaign
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: U.S. first lady Melania Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House May 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump outlined her new initiatives as first lady during the event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump gives first lady Melania Trump the pen he used, to sign a proclamation, declaring today "Be Best" day at the launch of her initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
US First Lady Melania Trump announces her 'Be Best' children's initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, May 7, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. first lady Melania Trump delivers remarks at the "launch of her Be Best initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018.
U.S. first lady Melania Trump announces the launch of her "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump at the launch of her "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he arrives for the launch of first lady Melania Trump's "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. first lady Melania Trump stands with President Donald Trump, who applauds during the launch of the first lady's Be Best initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump leave after participating in the launch of her "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. first lady Melania Trump enters the White House colonnade as she arrives for the launch of her "Be Best" initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07: U.S. President Donald Trump kisses U.S. first lady Melania Trump after she spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House May 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Melania Trump outlined her new initiatives, known as the Be Best program, during the event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump arrives to announce her 'Be Best' children's initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, May 7, 2018. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ryan’s remarks prompted a flurry of reactions on social media.

“Perhaps Ms @AprilDRyan can explain what ‘Culturally American’ is since I thought we were a melting pot of cultures,” wrote one tweeter.

“[Melania] is an American as all of us are,” someone else tweeted.

According to Fox News, “The first lady was born in Slovenia but has been an American citizen since 2006 and has lived in the country since 1996.”

Ryan’s comments sparked a tweet by Glenn Beck as well.

“April Ryan -I know when some said that Obama wasn’t fully ‘culturally American’ reporters cried racism. Now that you, a reporter, are saying the same, can they cry racism? Or do you just hate foreigners? Wow, this is easy, I see why the left likes it,” Beck wrote.

Amid criticism, Ryan took to Twitter herself and posted a clarification.

“Culture is not race! If I move to France now and live for 30 years in Paris, I am not culturally French. I am Culturally American,” she tweeted. “Culture is norms, behavior and social construct.”

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