For cripes sake. How did they not air this live on TV? Firing Omarosa on national television helped Trump become president in the first place. He and Kelly should have had the basic courtesy to let us watch the real-life sh*tshow departure.
Apparently she was allowed to sign a resignation letter, possibly to placate her by letting her save face, but more than one reporter claims she didn’t go quietly. A White House official told the WSJ that Omarosa was “physically dragged and escorted off the campus” after Kelly told her her services would no longer be required. Reporter April Ryan (who has a history with Omarosa, it should be noted) also heard it was a bad scene:
Sources say General Kelly did the firing and Omarosa is alleged to have acted very vulgar and cursed a lot and said she helped elect President Trump. The word is a General Kelly had it and got rid of her.
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) December 13, 2017
Even for Omarosa, cursing out a four-star Marine general is pretty Omarosa. Ryan elaborated in a radio report, claiming that when Kelly told Omarosa she was out, she demanded to speak to Trump directly. Nope, said Kelly, this isn’t like going to the principal’s office. He’s already signed off on my decision. Omarosa allegedly then started cursing up a storm and told him that she had brought the black vote to Trump last fall. Kelly’s reaction is unknown but presumably he bust out laughing. Then, when they were done, Ryan says Omarosa tried to get into the White House residence to plead with Trump directly about keeping her job. The Secret Service hauled her off and that was that. Just another day in POTUS’s “fine-tuned machine.”
Team Omarosa’s version of what happened is different and, coincidentally, self-serving. She wasn’t kicked out, sources tell BuzzFeed. She was deeply troubled by Trump’s handling of race relations.
The source said Manigault-Newman wanted to leave the White House after Charlottesville, where Trump sympathized with the white supremacists who marched to preserve Confederate monuments, leading to the dead of one counterprotester. Manigault-Newman went silent in the days and weeks after the rally, the source said. She did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment at the time.
The source said the White House was also consumed by other racial issues such as its focus on NFL players protesting during the national anthem; the lack of transparency regarding the death of a black American soldier in Niger and the response to his widow and Rep. Frederica Wilson; and the UCLA men’s basketball team arrests in China that Trump demanded praise for handling. More recently, Manigault-Newman had been disturbed by the administration’s handling of Roy Moore, as Trump embraced the candidate amid accusations he sexually assaulted teenagers.
Resigning in disgust at the president’s insensitivity on race seems strangely incongruent with being dragged away while seeking a personal audience with him to plead for one’s job. You don’t suppose the leak to BuzzFeed is after-the-fact spin from an ally to put the best possible light on her embarrassing departure, do you? Trump can’t fire her, she quits.
What did Omarosa do at the White House anyway, you may be asking. She worked in the Office of the Public Liaison, an important department — in theory — that’s charged with outreach to different constituencies to help build support for the president’s agenda. It’s OPL that’ll invite religious groups, business lobbies, etc, for meetings to try to bring them onboard with whatever the president is pushing at that moment. In practice, no one really knew what Omarosa did. Reporter Elaina Plott tailed her for a few hours inside the White House not long ago and couldn’t figure out what her duties consisted of, exactly. “No clue,” said a GOP source when asked. Her appearances in the media over the last few months mostly had to do with reality-show-style exploits, like getting in a shouting match with the moderator of a panel at a convention of black journalists or inviting 39 members of her bridal party to the White House for wedding photos. For all of this she was paid $180,000 a year, the maximum salary for a White House aide. It looks like Trump kept her around mainly out of loyalty, just because she’s been in his orbit for years.
But maybe there’s another reason. It’d be understandable if Kelly thought she was dead weight at OPL and wanted to revamp that office to perform more useful functions for the president. Read this Daily Beast from September, though, and you’ll see why Kelly may have had it out for Omarosa in particular. One of his core concerns as chief of staff has been trying to control the flow of information to Trump. For instance, no one just walks into the Oval Office anymore, as they did during Reince Priebus’s tenure. Kelly is the gatekeeper and the president’s on a schedule. But it’s not just about the quantity of information. Kelly also allegedly is concerned with how much informational junk food Trump ingests, from “Fox & Friends” to Infowars. According to the Beast, Omarosa was one of the main culprits in the building sneaking material to Trump that she knew would upset or otherwise provoke him, feeding him the latest about attacks on him by the likes of Joe Scarborough. Because they’ve been friends for so long, she seems to have had access to POTUS where other staffers, even ones with more formal power than her, didn’t. (No wonder she was angling to see him personally about her termination last night.) The news stories she fed him would distract him for hours, disrupting official business, so Kelly finally showed her the door. It’s amazing she held on this long.
Update: Ah, here’s Ryan elaborating on Omarosa’s firing.