Omarosa Manigault Newman didn’t wait long to throw her old boss, President Donald Trump, under the bus.
In her first appearance on CBS’ “Celebrity Big Brother,” a dunk tank for washed up quasi-celebrities, Manigault Newman assured one co-star (if that is the right word) that things are as bad as they seem at the White House.
In another broadside at Trump, she said she would not vote for Trump again — not “in a million years, never.”
And, as if to remove any doubt that Manigault Newman is completely unworthy of trust, she smeared Vice President Mike Pence’s faith by saying he believes Jesus Christ whispers in his ear.
So now, at long last, her true allegiances are out in the open for everybody to see. Manigault Newman is loyal to herself, and no one else, not even a president of the United States who hired her.
No one can really trust Manigault Newman, a Democrat at heart who worked briefly for President Bill Clinton’s administration. The only thing one can do is divine how her remarks point to the place she desires to float next. Clearly, this individual realizes how toxic Trump is in Hollywood and at CNN — so there are two good guesses.
But the real question I have is how she ever got hired in the first place by Trump, winning prime office space on the White House campus as the “communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison.” That’s where obnoxious celebrities often land in the White House: Democrat Kal Penn of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” for example, also worked there for former President Barack Obama.
In my first month as a White House reporter, during the transition in January 2017, I learned Manigault Newman is every bit as thoroughly unpleasant in person as she is on television. It’s not an act. She truly is a villain from a bad Lifetime comedy-drama about an office environment — and she demands royal treatment.
I would learn others at the White House had similar experiences with her. On her first day at her office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, she didn’t like the view, according to Politico. So she switched with Anthony Scaramucci, who had the space reserved, without telling him. The White House personnel office ordered her to switch back.
When she was married last April, she reportedly brought 39 people from the wedding party to the White House, without notifying staff. She rushed in with guests and began taking wedding photos. You haven’t seen them because the White House ordered her not to share them.
My own experiences with the diva are small by comparison — save for one that almost dragged me into the middle of a media maelstrom. It was after a White House press briefing on Feb. 8, 2017. April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks’ White House reporter, stormed past me as I waited to see then-press secretary Sean Spicer in the upper press office.
Ryan disregarded appointments and the line, and cut in front of several of us. Ryan apparently Manigault Newman for not being called on as much, and had words with her around that time in the West Wing. Ryan disappeared for a bit, and, as I continued to wait, I heard a ruckus.
Manigault Newman and Ryan burst through a doorway leading to the Roosevelt Room. In a made-for-TV moment, Manigault Newman, perhaps hoping people would see her thespian craft, made a stopping motion near Ryan’s face and said Ryan should never question her loyalty to “this president.” (Well, at least not in that time period.)
The women separated, and Ryan cut back into line, eager to take her argument to Spicer. Manigault Newman was still steaming and walked past Ryan to Spicer’s office. But as she turned back toward Ryan at the doorway, she gave her what I can only describe as the official “Omarosa look of death” — it’s as bad as it sounds. It so riled Ryan that the reporter threatened to file a complaint with the Secret Service.
In the future, perhaps she’ll dupe another famous person or network.
The dustup became the talk of Washington media. Fox News and CNN soon covered the ruckus. The Washington Post’s Paul Farhip, the first to report on it, found out I was in the middle of it, but I declined to comment.
But today, certain liberal-leaning news outlets such as The New York Times and CNN are suggesting Manigault Newman departure is a sign of the high turnover in Trump’s White House. They’re actually taking her seriously, even while admitting they are quoting her from “Big Brother.” It seems Manigault Newman’s strategy is working somewhat.
In the future, perhaps she’ll dupe another famous person or network, hoping to use her dubious fame to some advantage for both. But unless it’s the president of a company who sells real dunk tanks, I’ll pass.
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