She is Donald Trump's favorite White House reporter – invited back by his press secretary when other journalists had her network removed for refusing to socially distance at his coronavirus briefings.
But a DailyMail.com investigation has uncovered serious questions over One America News (OAN) White House Correspondent Chanel Rion's background, finances, and how she obtained security clearance to be in the White House.
In fact, DailyMail.com can disclose that Rion changed her last name before applying for White House security clearance last year and that until becoming a correspondent for the conservative network last May, she had no obvious source of income, despite a social media profile filled with designer dresses and vacations in upscale hotels.
The 29-year-old has now flouted the White House Correspondents Association repeatedly after it had OAN removed from the rotation of reporters allowed in the briefing room for Rion's refusal to follow social distancing guidelines.
Her latest appearance was on Wednesday, when once again she turned up at the back of the briefing room, defying the WHCA guidelines, and once again was invited by Trump to ask a question.
It was her third day this week, starting with Monday night, when she boasted to DailyMail.com about a 'meeting' with his then-press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who was moved to another job the next day.
No social distancing: The White House Correspondents Association removed Chanel Rion's OAN from the rotation allowing her to be present in the briefing room, but she has repeatedly defied the group and turned up, at the invitation of ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham
Here again: Chanel Rion has repeatedly turned up at the back of White House briefings and been invited by Donald Trump to ask questions
Briefing crasher: Chanel Rion has become notorious for a series of appearances at White House briefings in defiance of social-distancing guidelines
Defiance: Chanel 'Rion' has now appeared repeatedly at White House briefings after the White House Correspondents Association had OAN removed from the rotation for the limited seats in the briefing room
Briefing-crasher: OAN White House correspondent has endeared herself to Donald Trump - but not to other journalists, having defied social-distancing guidelines repeatedly to turn up at coronavirus briefings and stand at the back, then get invited to ask a question by the president
Hands-on presence: Donald Trump has singled out Chanel 'Rion' repeatedly to ask questions and praised her network. But his White House declined to answer how she was issued with a pass as DailyMail.com uncovered significant questions about her background
Earliest Trump picture: Chanel 'Rion' posted this image of her with Don Jr. before becoming a correspondent for OAN, boasting about meeting him at his father's Washington D.C. hotel
But little else about Rion is so straightforward, starting with her name.
She was born, in April 1990, and named not Chanel Rion but Chanel Nmi Dayn-Ryan. The unusual name was courtesy of one of her father's multiple identities.
The 72-year-old property developer and lawyer was born Danny Preboth, the son of renowned Goddard, Kansas psychic Allene Cunningham.
But over the years he has used the names Christopher Preboth, Dan Ryan, Danford Nmi Dayn-Ryan, Michael David Ryan, David Michael Ryan, and most recently Dann O Ryan.
The White House Correspondents Association, which put together a rotation system to keep the building's briefing room from breaking social distancing guidelines, issued a fresh plea to people defying their guidance on Wednesday.
'If you do not have an assigned seat, please do not attend briefings during this crisis and do not stand in the aisles, doing so defeats the purpose of the measures we have all taken comply with CDC guidelines and puts your colleagues at risk,' the association emailed its members.
The target could not be clearer: only Chanel Rion has attended briefings and stood in the aisles.
She however tweeted: 'I'm not "Breaking White House Distancing Guidelines," I’m the only journalist in the room personally invited by the White House.'
That suggests that her invitation has survived the demise of Stephanie Grisham's career as press secretary.
Though she has posted about her South Korean mother's family history, Rion has never mentioned her psychic grandmother, who is said to have foreseen Oprah Winfrey's success and Patty Hearst's short imprisonment, and featured in countless TV and radio shows flaunting her supernatural skills.
Neither has Rion mentioned that her father has been accused in multiple lawsuits of making millions defrauding property investors in Texas under many of his different aliases.
Ryan was involved in at least 31 companies sued by dozens of plaintiffs in Harris County, Texas, in the 1990s all alleging that he fraudulently sold them apartments by lying about the extensive repairs required, then forced them into foreclosure and bought back the property at a reduced price to sell to another investor, again for fraudulently inflated prices.
A 1998 lawsuit claimed Ryan defrauded investors out of more than $2 million by selling the same set of dilapidated apartments three times, allegedly lying to the buyers then forcing them into foreclosure and buying it back at rock-bottom prices each time.
San Francisco doctor Paul Lynn paid Ryan $1,795,000 for the Capetown Apartments complex in Harris County, Texas in 1993, but found them in complete disrepair, the lawsuit said.
The legal documents said Ryan foreclosed the property in March the following year, forcing Dr Lynn into bankruptcy.
Ryan then sold it to Robert Moore and his brother Dr. Elwin Moore from Seattle, Washington in November 1994.
The lawsuit claimed the brothers did not know that some of the 164 apartment units had been 'completely destroyed by fire and were non-existent at the time of the sale', and repairs would cost $8,000 per apartment rather than the $300 Ryan had told them.
Family: Chanel Rion's father is Danford Dyan-Ryan or alternatively Dan Ryan, who was born Danny Preboth. Her mother is his second wife, Kim Soon Oak. Both attended her graduation ceremony after studying at Harvard Extension School
Father: Chanel Rion's father Danford Dyan-Ryan - seen in Hong Kong in the mid-1990s - has been sued repeatedly
Family: Chanel Rion (second left) is seen with (from left) Darlene Sykes, her fiance's mother; Bobby Courtland Sykes, her fiance; Kim Soon Dyan-Ryan, her mother; Danford Dyan-Ryan, her father; a female relative; her fiance's father Richard Sykes; and her brother Baron Ryan
Family: Chanel Rion posted these images of her mother's parents, saying that they escaped Japanese oppression and Communism thanks to American interventions
Grandmother: Chanel Rion's father's mother was Allene Cunningham, a nationally-renowned radio psychic who died in 2016 aged 94. Rion told DailyMail.com that she never met her paternal grandmother, who was said to have predicted Oprah Winfrey's success
Ryan told the Moores he could act as their attorney for the property sale, the lawsuit said. They discovered later he was not licensed to practice law in Texas, they claimed in court papers.
When the brothers found out the decrepit state of the apartments, they agreed to swap their ownership for another of Ryan's apartment complexes, which Ryan then foreclosed in July 1995, leaving the Moores empty-handed, according to the legal documents.
The alleged fraudster then sold Capetown Apartments to a third buyer, Barry Hardy, for $1,795,000 plus $119,000 property taxes – though the real value was only $308,000, the lawsuit said.
Ryan did not respond to requests for comment. In a 13-page statement, Rion told DailyMail.com that her father had been honest in his real estate business and that he had been wrongly accused by 'malicious lunatics'.
'Apartments were offered plainly visible and sold 'as is' with the express understanding they were 'renovation projects' only that would require large and expensive repairs of an indeterminate nature,' she said, adding that 'buyers inspected fully, every apartment unit and all parts of every building and signed off that they had.'
'The untruthful allegations—the ACCUSATIONS were the screamings of vulchers [sic] trying not to pay what they owed—and the consequence of several mortgagors 'ganging up' to collaborate and escape payment of their respective million dollar mortgages,' she said.
Rion stated that she filed to legally change her name from her father's Dayn-Ryan to Rion at a Massachusetts court last year – the same year she applied for security clearance for her White House press pass.
Rion added that she has used the alternative spelling of her last name since age six and it appeared on documents including her passport.
Though her father now reportedly owns three ranches in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, it is unclear where Ryan's family lived during his controversial real estate career.
Rion's fiancé has said in interviews that she 'did most of her growing up' in Missouri. But the TV reporter has written on her Facebook that she lived in Seoul, South Korea, in 1995, France in 1996, and Key West, Florida from 1997 age 7 to 2010 age 20.
She has also suggested she was in South Korea in 1996 or 1997.
Harvard time: Chanel Rion spent five years at the Harvard Extension School, 18 months of it distance learning, graduating with an ALB
Glamorous images: Despite no apparent source of income, Chanel Rion - she changed her last name legally from Dyan-Ryan last year - has posed around the country on a series of vacations
Fiance: Chanel Rion met her fiance of four years, Bob - or Bobby - Courtland Sykes who also studied at the Harvard Extension School. She says they met at a CIA recruiting event, although a teaching assistant congratulated two of her former students on their engagement
Veteran: Bobby Cortland Sykes spent seven years in the Navy, rising to petty officer first class
Carefully constructed image: Chanel Rion and Bobby Courtland Sykes - a former Navy petty officer who uses his middle name - appear frequently on each other's social media, going back to when both were at Harvard Extension School
Sisters: Chaenl Rion says she worked as Art Director and Principal Illustrator for Cloverstone Publishing, founded by her sister Channing (left)
Harvard University, established in 1636, is renowned as one of the most prestigious schools in the world, and is fiendishly hard to get into. Undergraduates who make the cut study at Harvard College.
The university also has a sister organization called the Harvard Extension School, founded in 1910, which offers courses taught on Harvard’s campus, often by Harvard professors. But places on an Extension School course are nowhere near as competitive, and the admissions process is far less rigorous.
While Harvard College has an acceptance rate of 4.6%, courses at the Extension School are 'open to the public, and most require no application' according to Harvard’s website. The fees, however, are charged at full cost with no waivers or reductions.
Courses at the Extension School can involve 'distance learning,' where students study online and do not have to be on campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Undergraduate students at the Extension School who complete their course receive a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies (ALB), while students at the more prestigious Harvard College receive a Bachelor of Arts (AB) degree.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
The Extension School also offers one-year postgraduate programs, which earn students a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) – not to be confused with