Confirming what she told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, Omarosa Manigault has been officially appointed to serve on the executive committee of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team, according to a statement Thursday from the administration.
Manigault, 42, first met Trump in 2004 on the set of NBC’s The Apprentice, where she was quickly pegged a “villain” for her quarrelsome competition style. The pair got to know each other better on subsequent seasons of Celebrity Apprentice and on The Ultimate Merger, an African-American dating show that Manigault and Trump co-produced.
Writing in THR‘s annual Women in Entertainment issue, Manigault explained that her position “is called national engagement. He has given me a personal directive that with the 4,000 jobs we need to fill, he wants his administration to be the most diverse in history.”
She also praised Trump as being “open-minded … he does not judge people on their gender or race.” Manigault also noted his compassion, citing two instances — following the 2011 shooting of her brother and the fatal heart attack that claimed the life of her fiance, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, in 2012 — in which Trump called her to extend his deep sympathies.
She is currently engaged to John Allen Newman, a pastor from Florida she met while teaching a post-graduate course at Howard University.
Manigault was one of nine additions to Trump’s executive committee on Thursday. The other “key staff leadership” include: Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen, Sheriff Butch Anderson, Safra Catz, Tom Dadey, Nick Langworthy, Mike McCormack, Joe Mondello and John Sweeney.