Omarosa Manigault Newman to leave White House
WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman, a White House aide and infamous former “Apprentice” contestant, resigned Tuesday evening, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC News, “to pursue other opportunities.”
Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018, the White House said, exactly one year from the day President Donald Trump was sworn in.
Newman has a long history with Trump, beginning with her time as a controversial contestant on several seasons of Trump’s reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” Her brash and manipulative persona on the show both endeared her to Trump and made her a must-watch character.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Newman rallied crowds ahead of the then-candidate, traveling the country with an informal group of other “women for Trump” to make the case for the candidate. (Lara Trump, pro-Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson, and YouTube stars Diamond & Silk were also part of the group, who sometimes sported matching, pink jackets with “women for Trump” logos on them.)
Omarosa was one of his highest profile African-American, female supporters and one of the few black women in Trump’s West Wing. Her title during her year in the White House was assistant to the president and communications director for the Office of Public Liaison.
News of her departure comes less than a week after another high profile woman in the administration, Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell, announced she would leave the administration at year’s end.
Speculation has abounded in recent weeks as to which other principle members of the administration could also be seeking an exit ramp, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who, as NBC News and others have reported, has clashed with the administration — coming under close scrutiny.
Earlier this month, a White House source confirmed to NBC News that there was a plan being discussed to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has grown close to Trump over the months.
At the time of the reports, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tillerson “enjoys this job” and continues to do his work, adding that the secretary “serves at the pleasure of the president, as we all do.”
A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity with NBC News, said that Tillerson’s allies in the administration were scarce after months of clashing with the president. “He’s burned all his bridges,” the source said.