- Manigault-Newman says she doesn’t consider the president a racist
- Ex-Apprentice contestant criticises lack of diversity in Trump administration
Many of Donald Trump’s comments have been “racially charged”, the most high-profile black woman to have worked in his White House has said.
Former reality TV star Omarosa Manigault-Newman, whose departure was announced this week, went on to say that despite those exchanges, she did not consider the president a racist.
She told ABC News Nightline: “Donald Trump is racial, but he is not a racist.”
She went on: “Yes, I will acknowledge many of the exchanges, particularly in the last six months, have been racially charged. Do we, then, just stop and label him as a racist? No.”
Manigault-Newman said there was a lack of diversity in the Trump administration and that the president’s other senior advisers “had never worked with minorities, [and] didn’t know how to interact with them”.
Asked if it concerned her when Trump denounced violence “on many sides” after a rally in Charlottesville that united white supremacists and neo-Nazis in a show of strength, Manigault-Newman said: “Absolutely.”
I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeplyOmarosa Manigault-Newman
Manigault-Newman has been on an interview tour since resigning from the White House on Wednesday under disputed circumstances. A former contestant on Trump’s reality series The Apprentice, Manigault-Newman had been the director of communications for the Office of the Public Liaison, which worked on outreach to various constituencies, including minority groups. She had also been an assistant to the president.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday did not directly respond to questions about reports that Manigault-Newman had to be escorted out of the building. But she said Manigault-Newman would be at the White House on Thursday afternoon, and would remain on the White House payroll through 20 January.
Manigault-Newman’s exit has revived attention on the lack of diversity in the Trump White House. “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,” Manigault-Newman told ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday.
Sanders on Thursday claimed there was “a really diverse team across the board at the White House” but failed to say how many senior staffers at the White House were black.
It is not yet clear who will take over Manigault-Newman’s role.