Omarosa Manigault: Who is she, why did she leave Trump's White House, and what does she know?

She has acknowledged that there were things she saw and heard at the White House that made her 'uncomfortable'

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 14 December 2017 21:24 GMT

Omarosa Manigault Newman has become the latest top White House employee to resign amid rumors of conflict, and her time in the West Wing will reportedly come to an end exactly one year after President Donald Trump took the oath of office in January.

As one of the most prominent African American women supporting Mr Trump — much less serving in the White House — Ms Manigault Newman’s departure has garnered attention for the former “The Apprentice” contestant.

Here’s what you need to know about Ms Manigault Newman.

Who is she?

Ms Manigault Newman is a former staffer for former Vice President Al Gore, and a reality television star.

She worked in the 1990s for Mr Gore, and later came into the public eye in 2004 when she became a participant on the NBC reality television series “The Apprentice”, which Mr Trump hosted.

During her stint on that show, she became well known to the American public for her controversial, and aggressive tactics against her fellow contestants. That behavior led to her being crowned the “woman America loved to hate”, although Ms Manigault Newman has taken issue with her being seen as a villain, instead saying that she should be considered a shrewd businesswoman because men would not be viewed in a negative light for similar behavioiur.

Ms Manigault Newman later became the only contestant from the original Apprentice to be invited back for the show’s sequel, “The Celebrity Apprentice”, which Mr Trump also hosted. She was later fired after sparking a feud with Piers Morgan.

How did she get involved with politics?

Her most recent spate in the political world began in July of last year during the Republican National Convention, when she announced that she had been named the director of African American outreach for Mr Trump’s campaign.

She was later announced as one of the nine members on Mr Trump’s presidential transition team following the election.

What did she do in the White House?

Ms Manigault Newman was an assistant to the President, and the Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liason. Individuals in that role generally organize meet and greets and public events between the President and key interest groups.

Why has she been controversial?

Some reports have indicated that Ms Manigault Newman was pushed out of the White House for relentlessly pushing to have more access and power, which White House Chief of Staff John Kelly declined to give her (Ms Manigault Newman and the White House both deny these claims).

Other reports indicate that she had significant access while working for the White House, which Mr Kelly reigned in after taking over the chief of staff position, tasked with the challenge of stabilizing what was an incredibly rocky ship. Among the things that reportedly got under Mr Kelly’s skin were instances like one in which Ms Manigault Newman invited her wedding party to the White House for photos, reportedly without giving adequate prior notice.

Why does she say she resigned?

Ms Manigault Newman and the White House are parting ways amicably, at least publicly. Ms Manigault Newman says that she had always planned on leaving the White House after a single year of service, so she can go ahead and live her life.

She did, however, confirm that she was “upset” with some things she had seen in the Trump White House, and has indicated that those issues were race related. Those issues have reportedly included a disagreement over Mr Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, when a white supremacist allegedly drove a car through a crowd of peaceful protesters, killing one.

What is happening now that she’s leaving?

It’s unclear if her departure will have a significant impact on the current operations of the White House, or if her position will be filled. One thing that is sure, though, is that her resignation will leave behind an even less diverse staff in a White House that is already known for neglecting those concerns.

One thing appears clear, though: Ms Manigault Newman plans on telling the story of her tenure in the White House in the future. While she recently refused to discuss personal interractions while there, she has indicated that she has an incredible story to tell.

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