Omarosa Manigault, a one-time reality show star turned political figure who re-emerged as a surrogate for President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign last year, has caught a “you’re hired” nod from the soon-to-be chief executive. You may remember she became a notable after nine cutthroat weeks on “The Apprentice” before Trump gave her the ax.
Since then, she’s found a way to stay in Trump’s orbit and is now apparently going to be a part of his administration.
Reports say she’ll be working in the White House as a “public engagement” official, although it is not clear what that means or what the job will entail.
So like it or not, Omarosa, 42, is going to be up in the mix at least for the time being. But here are five important things to know about the future Oval Office hire.
1. This isn’t her first time working in the White House. Omarosa worked under Vice President Al Gore as well as in several other positions within the Clinton administration. But reports say she had a difficult time, many did not get along with her and she was moved around the administration. She has said she ultimately left to work on the 2000 Gore presidential campaign.
2. She is a product of the HBCU system. Her broadcast journalism degree came from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, not far from her native Youngstown. She went on to Howard University to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D in communications. She also taught in the Howard University School of Business.
3. She is also an ordained minister. She has said she was called to the ministry after visiting Africa and seeing an orphaned child dying of AIDS. “And it was at that moment, looking into the face and the eyes of this dying child that I received my call to ministry,” she told Oprah Winfrey on “Where Are They Now” in 2013. After that she said she enrolled in seminary full time and went on to serve as assistant pastor of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
4. Before she supported Trump, she was “With Her.” In 2014, Omarosa jumped on the Hillary Clinton campaign train with a tweet indicating who she was behind.
— OMAROSA (@OMAROSA) November 18, 2014
Before that, she was also an unabashed supporter of President Obama.
President OBama is sooo coool, HIS Swagger is ICE!!
— OMAROSA (@OMAROSA) July 23, 2009
What made her jump ship so radically, she told The New York Times Magazine was the treatment of Obama by Clinton. “My big split really started during the election that involved Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” she said. “Some of the attack tactics that were used, particularly from the Clinton camp — at first, I was very much supportive of Hillary, until I saw how she was treating this African-American man.” However, that still doesn’t explain the tweets in 2014 returning to support Clinton.
5. She is adamant there’s nothing racist or sexist about Trump. Last month, Omarosa penned an op-ed to The Hollywood Reporter, contradicting accusations of sexism, racism and various xenophobias that had run rampant in the rhetoric of his campaign. In it, she spoke of a kinder, gentler Trump who came to her side when both her brother and fianceé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan had died. She defended his track record of people saying she’s only observed a fair, impartial man. “I never observed any of the behaviors attributed to him,” she wrote. “In my experiences with him, he has only been professional. I am aware of the perceptions. But he is open-minded: He does not judge people on their gender or race. He judges them on their ability to do the job.”