Reality TV's Omarosa hired for Trump's White House outreach

© The Associated Press In this Jan. 2, 2017, photo, Omarosa Manigault arrives at Trump Tower, in New York. A memorable contestant in the first season of “The Apprentice,” Manigault is expected to join President-elect Donald Trump’s White House
WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault is getting hired.

A memorable contestant in the first season of "The Apprentice," Manigault is expected to join President-elect Donald Trump's White House staff, according to two people familiar with the decision. Her job is expected to focus on public engagement.

Manigault was one of Trump's most prominent African-American supporters during the campaign and has been working with his transition team. Her effusive praise of Trump has at times drawn criticism.

"Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump," she said in an interview for a PBS "Frontline" documentary about the presidential campaign. "It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe."

Manigault, who prefers to use only her first name, made it through nine weeks of "The Apprentice" before Trump directed his infamous tagline, "You're fired," at her. She was portrayed as a cut-throat contestant during the season. She returned to Trump's "Apprentice" franchise several times and has appeared on other reality TV shows.

Manigault said she has stayed close to Trump over the years and served as his campaign's director of African-American outreach.

Last month, she shepherded NFL legends Ray Lewis and Jim Brown into a Trump Tower meeting with the president-elect. Afterward, Lewis posted a photo of himself and Manigault on his Facebook page, writing, "Was great meeting Omarosa and the team ... very impressive and passionate."

This will be Manigault's second season at the White House. She worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.

The Trump transition team did not respond to inquiries about Manigault's role. The two people familiar with the decision insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the hiring process publicly.

Manigault previewed her hiring during the Fox News New Year's Eve coverage, according to news reports, saying her title would be "huge."


Omarosa Manigault Officially Joins Donald Trump's White House Staff

Former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault is joining Donald Trump’s White House staff, the president-elect’s transition team announced on Wednesday, January 4.

Manigualt, 42 — who voiced her support for Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, via social media in 2014 and rallied for President Barack Obama in 2012 before going on to serve as Trump campaign’s director of African-American outreach — will serve as assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. According to CNN, the former reality TV star’s role will focus on public engagement.

This won’t be the first time the Bitch Switch author has had a job at the White House. CNN reports that she worked for former Vice President Al Gore during 42nd POTUS Bill Clinton’s administration.

Despite her previous support of Democrat politicians, Manigault is standing behind Republican Trump, 70. Back in September, the Surreal Life alum predicted that her business mentor would win the bid for the Oval Office.

“[His critics] will have to bow down to President Trump,” she said during a Frontline special at the time. “It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

Manigualt is best known for her appearance on season 1 of Trump’s reality series, The Apprentice, in 2004 and a subsequent stint on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in 2013. Though she was eventually fired by Trump during both seasons, the Ohio native has remained on good terms with the real estate tycoon.


Omarosa gets job in Trump White House as 'public liaison' leader

Omarosa Manigault, the famously combative Apprentice contestant fired three times by Donald Trump, has been hired, as she hint-predicted earlier, for a job in the Trump White House.

No one should be surprised, even though she's a former Democrat and the epithet most often associated with her is "the arch-villain of Season 1."

Smart, sharp and loyal to President-elect Trump, Omarosa, 42, made it clear starting on Nov. 8 that she expected to get a White House position. She was spotted at Trump Tower on Monday.

On election night, she told The Hollywood Reporter that Trump asked her if she was "ready to come with me to Washington." A few days later, she tweeted a picture of herself with a poster of Trump. "My last briefing as senior adviser to #realDonaldTrump for campaign," the caption read.

(Omarosa typically goes by just one name; it's not clear if that's what her White House hard pass will read.)

According to a statement Wednesday by the Trump transition team announcing a group of 11 new hires, Omarosa is going to be focused on public outreach as an assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison.

President Obama's version is called the Office of Public Engagement, with a job description featuring idealistic verbiage about transparency and inclusion, listening to the public and bringing in new voices for the president to hear.

More practically, it's the office that coordinates public speaking engagements for members of the administration and the executive office of the president.

In the Obama White House, that office was headed by Valerie Jarrett, his old friend and confidante from Chicago and one of the outgoing administration's longest-serving powerbrokers. Jarrett was the person Omarosa compared herself to in describing her relationship to Trump even before he won in November.

As his biggest fan from the earliest Apprentice days, Omarosa became an enthusiastic supporter of his presidential hopes, took charge of outreach to African-American voters, and joined the executive committee of the transition team that announced her hiring.

"As Donald says, I am his Valerie Jarrett," said Manigault during a one-on-one-interview at a business conference for multicultural women back in June.

Omarosa has worked at the White House before, in the Clinton administration in the office of Vice President Al Gore. She's a church pastor, possesses a Ph.D. in communications, and is an undisputed self-marketing whiz. She is certainly the most famous previously unknown castmember to come out of the Apprentice.

But she's also famous for clashing with practically everyone on the show at one time or another. Like Trump, she was often unfiltered, with little patience for anyone she considered a fool.

Among ex-Apprentice contestants who know her, she gets mixed reviews. Kwame Jackson, who was the second-to-last-man standing on Season 1, said appointing her to direct African-American outreach is "like appointing Benedict Arnold to lead the Revolutionary Army."

But she has her fans, besides the most important one, Trump himself.

"Omarosa grew up a fighter her entire life, she's not going to back down," said Bowie Hogg, 38, a conservative Texan Trump supporter who competed on Season 1. "She's always going to give her opinion; it's one of her strengths and sometimes it can hurt her. She's always prepared to be the villain."

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