Omarosa, Reality TV Super-Villain and Obama and Hillary Super Fan, Joins Trump White House
Infamous Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault is on her way from the boardroom to the White House—in a role expected to be similar to what actor Kal Penn did for Obama.
Her executive experience dates back to the ’90s, when she had a brief stint in the Clinton administration. Her political career didn’t last long, as she was allegedly a total nightmare to work with, to the point that at least one female colleague wanted to inflict physical violence on her. In the early aughts, Omarosa rose to national fame as a breakout star and villainous character on Donald Trump’s NBC reality TV show The Apprentice. Her time on that series wasn’t without controversy, either. In 2004, she alleged that fellow season-one contestant Ereka Vetrini called her a “nigger,” prompting Apprentice creator Mark Burnett to reportedly send Omarosa a cease-and-desist letter.
Flash-forward to the next decade, and suddenly she’s a top Trump surrogate and director of the (fairly disastrous) black outreach operation for his 2016 presidential campaign. And according to an Associated Press report on Tuesday, her years of loyalty to Trump is paying off now in the form of a new, cushy White House job. The AP spoke to two sources “familiar with the decision” who said her role is expected to focus on public engagement. President Barack Obama gave actor and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle star Kal Penn a similar gig at the beginning of the Obama years.
Omarosa and the Trump presidential transition team did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. But over the weekend, Trump’s one-time Apprentice did say on Fox News that she would “of course” be getting a role in the Trump White House and that “Mr. Trump is announcing my title on Tuesday and it’s huge—it’s huge,” she added. And on Monday, she was seen entering and exiting Trump Tower in Manhattan.
During the Trump campaign, it certainly seemed as though Omarosa was one of Trump’s more die-hard followers, to the point where it would sometimes sound like she was threatening Trump’s political critics and adversaries.
“It’s so great our enemies are making themselves clear so that when we get into the White House, we know where we stand,” she told IJR at Trump’s election-night celebration. “Let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list.”
However, it is likely that her enthusiasm for a Trump era in American politics has more to do with opportunity and ambition than ideology or party affiliation. After all, she’s no doctrinaire conservative or staunch Republican by any stretch.
For instance, she was for years a big-league Obama fan.
“Thank you President Obama for being so awesome!” Omarosa tweeted as recently as June 2015.
“Watching President Obama live remarks about US response to Libya! Wow he looks like he’s ready to sock it to GADDAF!!!” she posted to Twitter in March 2011, when Libyan-war fever was high among Obama supporters.
“President OBama is sooo coool, HIS Swagger is ICE!!” she tweeted during his first year in office.
After the 2014 midterm elections, Omarosa began to publicly declare her support for the person who many assumed was poised to become Obama’s successor.
“I’m Ready for Hillary. Are you?” she asked on Twitter in November 2014, adding the hashtag “#Hillary2016” and asking people to join Team Hillary. “So proud to know her and support her! Run Hillary Run!” she wrote on April 12, 2015, adding the celebratory hashtag of “#HisStoryisNowHerStory!”
Two months after that tweet, Trump officially announced his candidacy for the presidency. A little over a year after that, he was the Republican presidential nominee, set to face off against, and eventually defeat, Hillary Clinton, Omarosa’s political heroine.
Well, former political heroine, at least. Just before election day, Omarosa tweeted this to her tens of thousands of followers:
In the end, by ditching Hillary and embracing her friend and former reality-TV boss, Omarosa ended up picking the unlikely winning side. For her gamble, she’s headed to work in her second administration.
“Excited about 2017!” she tweeted on Monday. “#MAGA.”