Reality TV star Omarosa latest Trump aide to exit White House
Omarosa Manigault Newman was escorted off the White House grounds after resigning her post as a presidential adviser and reports suggested she was “fired” by chief of staff John Kelly.world Updated: Dec 14, 2017 23:07 IST
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former reality TV star who become an aide to President Donald Trump and a prominent African American figure in his team, is the newest member of the administration to leave in a continuing churn of personnel.
Manigault Newman was escorted off the White House grounds after resigning her post as a presidential adviser, the AP quoted two unnamed White House officials as saying. Reports also suggested she was “fired” by chief of staff John Kelly.
In a statement on Wednesday, the White House said she had “resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities". It added, "We wish her the best in future endeavours and are grateful for her service.”
Trump later tweeted: "Thank you Omarosa for your service! I wish you continued success."
Though her departure takes effect on January 20, her security clearance was withdrawn on Wednesday. In an unusual tweet, the Secret Service denied it had escorted her out, and said, “Our only involvement in this matter was to deactivate the individual’s pass which grants access to the complex.”
Manigault Newman, widely known by her first name Omarosa, was director of communications for the office of public liaison and one of two prominent African Americans in Trump’s team, along with housing secretary Ben Carson.
Her departure came just days after the announcement of deputy national security adviser Dina Powell’s exit, capping a year marked by a steady exodus of White House officials, starting with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in February, just three weeks after Trump took office.
Others to have left since — resigned and fired — include chief strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, directors of communications Michael Dubke and Anthony Scaramucci and FBI director James Comey.
More departures are expected around the one-year mark of the administration in January. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson heads that list of those expected to leave, according to reports sourced to the White House. The plan is to replace him with CIA director Mike Pompeo, who will be succeeded by senator Tom Cotton. Trump has denied Tillerson is leaving, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors.
Manigault Newman first appeared on Trump’s The Apprentice in 2004 as an aggressive contestant, and went to join his campaign in 2016. She was a fierce defender when Trump came under attack for racist and sexist remarks, and a prominent African American face on the stage at events to reach out to the community, along with Carson.
At the White House, she was considered close to Trump and could once walk into the Oval Office at will. Many in the White House didn’t like her — she once brought her bridal party of 39 members for a photo shoot at the presidential residence — including Priebus and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Priebus had cut her out of some meetings but was unable to curtail her access to Trump.
That task was left to Kelly, who has sought to regulate access to Trump and bring discipline to the White House.