Trump Hires an Adviser He Once Called an Untrustworthy Liar

Previously, Trump said Omarosa Manigault, a former Apprentice candidate, has “got a problem or something.”

John Taggart/CNP via ZUMA Wire


A decade after deriding her as irresponsible and dishonest, Donald Trump has hired the controversial reality star-turned-political operative Omarosa Manigault to advise him in the White House. The incoming Trump administration announced Wednesday afternoon that Manigault will serve as assistant to the president and director of communications for the office of public liaison.

The hire marks the latest twist in the former Apprentice contestant’s longstanding relationship with her reality television boss. Manigault was a prominent surrogate for Trump during the campaign, helping organize a meeting between Trump and several black pastors in 2015. Last year, she served as the vice-chair of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, a grassroots network of nonwhite Trump supporters unaffiliated with the campaign. In July, Manigault officially joined the Trump campaign as the director of African American outreach, overseeing an outreach effort that was frequently criticized for relying on stereotypes of black communities. She currently serves as a member of Trump’s transition team.

Despite Manigault’s extensive work for his campaign, Trump hasn’t always had the highest opinion of her. In a 2004 interview with Playboy, Trump said that she was “difficult for people to handle” during her time on The Apprentice and that she was a far better reality TV villain than he had expected. “I couldn’t believe she was lying on camera like she was,” he said. “She’s got a problem or something.

When asked if he would ever serve as a business reference for Manigault, Trump said that he would not recommend her for an executive position, but that he “might serve as a reference for her to be on a soap opera.” He added, “She’s wonderful on TV, and she gets ratings. I just wouldn’t necessarily want her running my church.”

Manigault’s new gig won’t be her first time working for a presidential administration. She previously worked in the Clinton administration, where, according to People, she was fired from four different jobs in a two-year span. The experience didn’t seem to sour Manigault on Democrats: Before Trump jumped into the race, she eagerly voiced her support of Hillary Clinton.

But once her former boss entered the fray, it didn’t take long for Manigault to change her tune and her party. “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she told PBS’s Frontline last year in an interview before the presidential election. “It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate