Today was an embarrassing one for Omarosa Manigault, who was dramatically fired from her job doing…. something at the White House. According to April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, Manigault was escorted out of the White House by security after engaging in a screaming match with Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly. Very few people leave the Trump administration with their dignity, but this one was especially messy given the lengths Manigualt went to in order to establish her importance in a White House that by most objective reports had little use for her.
Still though, there is good press out there for Manigault somewhere. Today, TMZ posted two stories about the deposed ex-Apprentice star, the first about how she and Kelly “frequently bumped heads.” Reported TMZ:
Sources close to Omarosa tell us she started thinking about resigning back in August after the Charlottesville riots, because she disagreed with Trump’s handling of the crisis. We’re told she took issue with Trump saying there were good people on both sides … which, of course, included the neo-Nazis.
Our sources in Omarosa’s camp say she also didn’t appreciate Trump beefing with Rep. Frederica Wilson, or bungling a call with an African-American Gold Star widow. We’re told Trump’s endorsement of Roy Moore was the last straw.
At face value, this story is pretty unflattering for Trump, who never admits he’s wrong, and now has a longtime close ally disagreeing with his handling of several sensitive subjects that became minor and major scandals. TMZ’s story is basically Omarosa PR—it’s attributed to “sources in Omarosa’s camp”—and comes off as a salvo in a brewing war between Manigault and the White House. And that might be the case if TMZ wasn’t one of Trump’s closest allies in the mainstream press, so close to the president that he has secretly hosted TMZ’s founder, Harvey Levin, in the White House at least once.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, TMZ’s subsequent story, posted 90 minutes later, was a bit more simpatico:
Omarosa and her old boss, Donald Trump, are NOT on the outs even though she’s out of the White House — ’cause they were still chummy Wednesday morning … TMZ has learned.
A well-placed source at the White House tells us President Trump spoke with Omarosa on the phone Wednesday following her resignation/”firing,” depending on who you talk to, from Tuesday night.
We’re told O and DT spoke for about an hour, and the conversation was warm and cordial.
Peeling back the layers here, it’s easy to see Trump, or aides close to him, using TMZ as a mouthpiece to soften the blow for Manigault, chipping ever so slightly against Kelly, the chief of staff who has been characterized in the press as also having babysitting duties. Trump is known to stay close with confidantes who eventually leave his orbit—Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon in particular—and he clearly has an affection for Manigault.
TMZ, of course, has no problem doing Trump’s bidding, nor do either of the two entities really bother hiding it. TMZ’s second story contained the following line:
Our source also tells us the Prez will be issuing a statement — or probably (most definitely) a tweet — wishing Omarosa well and saying she’ll be missed.
Yes… I wonder who that source is…