Omarosa Manigault Newman, commonly known as simply Omarosa, is out at her role in the Trump administration. Omarosa, one of a few high-profile minority members of the administration, was considered one of the least-qualified people in a White House filled with unqualified people. But her long history with Trump and the firey way in which she was ousted makes for some juicy reading.
Her role, communications director for the Office of Public Liaison, will now go unfilled along with many others. She’s far from the first person to be jettisoned from her job; according to the New York Times, the Trump White House has a worrisome 34% turnover rate. She may actually be ahead of the curve, too: Rumors abound that many others could soon follow, including Rex Tillerson, Jared Kushner, and John Kelly.
This wasn’t Omarosa’s first stint in Washington. She had previously served under President Clinton in the 1990s but became publicly known after she was a contestant on Trump’s TV show, The Apprentice. Her appearance on the show catapulted her into the national spotlight and made her one of America’s most-hated reality stars. She used that to get a gig in the Trump campaign as Director of African-American Outreach in 2016.
Her reward, following Trump’s election, was a cushy gig at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But that’s over now. And now we know exactly what went wrong.
First: The original story of Omarosa’s firing.
Omarosa fired: The reported story
- Reports say that Omarosa was involuntarily removed from the West Wing — physically dragged out by Secret Service agents.
When reports first surfaced, it appeared that Omarosa did not go quietly. A White House official told The Washington Post that she was fired and escorted off the property. April Ryan, who frequently appears on CNN, further reported that Omarosa had attempted to enter the “residence” — where the Trumps live in the White House — and was subsequently dragged out by Secret Service. Apparently, a shouting and cursing match took place and ended with General Kelly having her removed from the property.
Next: What she says actually happened.
- Conflicting reports now say she voluntarily quit, signing her letter of resignation effective January 20, 2018.
The reports from Ryan and others have met resistance, however. The Secret Service, for example, has said that they did not remove Omarosa from the property, though they did deactivate her security pass. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said that Omarosa had voluntarily resigned and that her duties would officially end January 20th. It also seems that she was uncomfortable working in the Trump White House, and has hinted that she might do some damage after she walks away.
“As the only African American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people,” she said, according to The Guardian. “And when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear.”
Next: Details on her mysterious White House gig.
What was her job, anyway?
- She was earning $179,700 as communications director for the Office of Public Liaison.
Before we dig into the “he-said, she-said,” let’s remind everyone of what, exactly, her job was. Officially, her title was communication director for the Office of Public Liaison. While that’s a real department and a real job title, reporting from The Daily Beast seems to indicate that she didn’t really do much in her role at the White House. She earned the maximum possible salary of $179,700, but when a Daily Beast reporter shadowed her for a day, she spent time planning her wedding and talking about how busy she was.
Next: What actually happened.
What really happened
- Three strikes and she’s out.
So, why was she fired? There were several reasons. For one, she really wasn’t serving much of a purpose in the White House. In April 2017, she unexpectedly brought her 39 person wedding party to the White House for a photo shoot, which caused a minor scandal.
But according to Politico, the final straw came when she was caught using CARPET, the White House car service as a personal “pick-up and drop-off car service.” Apparently, a staffer sending official White House vehicles out on errands was a bridge too far for chief of staff John Kelly. After being fired, Politico confirms that she did try to “storm” the residence, setting off a Secret Service alarm.
Next: Her clashes with the president’s Chief of Staff.
Clashes with Kelly
- Her firing could also have been the result of efforts of Trump’s Chief of Staff General Kelly to “clean house”.
When John Kelly became Trump’s chief of staff, it looked as though there would finally be some order in the White House. Kelly pushed out some high-ranking officials (like Steve Bannon) and has tried to control access to the president. It’s worked, to some degree, but Omarosa was one of few people with “walk-in” privileges and access to the president’s ear. That, Kelly, thinks, is a problem. So much so that he’s attempted to keep Trump’s kids, including Ivanka, away from the Oval Office. Reports say that Kelly ultimately pulled the plug on Omarosa’s tenure in the Trump administration.
Next: Was she a provocateur in the West Wing?
A toxic agent in the White House?
- Was she more of a problem than she was worth in the West Wing?
Long before any firing or resignations were tendered, reports had surfaced regarding Omarosa’s impact in the West Wing. Specifically, Omarosa could act as a “triggering” influence on the president, causing him to lash out. According to the Daily Beast: “Kelly has taken steps to prevent her and other senior staffers from getting unvetted news articles on the president’s Resolute desk—a key method for influencing the president’s thinking, and one that Manigault used to rile up Trump about internal White House drama.”
This, too, most likely played a role in her exit.
Finally: What’s next for Omarosa?
What’s next for Omarosa?
- You haven’t seen the last of her.
What’s next for Omarosa? Well, she’s back where she rose to fame: On reality TV. Less than two months after she left the White House, she became a cast member on CBS’ Celebrity Big Brother. As cited earlier, she already plans on telling some “stories” from her time in the White House.
Recently, she lashed out against Vice President Mike Pence. “He’s extreme,” she says. “I’m Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things.” She says she’s also working on a tell-all book, which has the potential to be as explosive as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. As for Trump, she says she wouldn’t vote for him again “in a million years,” let alone work for him again. We don’t know what the future holds for Omarosa, but you can bet that she probably won’t be back in the West Wing any time soon
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