POLITICS
12/14/2017 08:17 am ET Updated Dec 14, 2017

Omarosa Manigault Newman Denies She Was Fired From The White House

The former "Apprentice" star slammed news outlets reporting otherwise.

Omarosa Manigault Newman is bucking reports that White House chief of staff John Kelly fired her.

“I resigned and I didn’t do that in the residence as being reported,” Newman said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

“John Kelly and I sat down in the Situation Room, which is a very secure, very quiet room in the White House, and we had a very candid conversation,” she said.

Newman resigned from her role as director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office on Tuesday, the White House said Wednesday. She will continue her job until Jan. 20.

Newman said Thursday that her goal when she came to work in the Trump administration was to work in the White House for a year and then “get back to my life.”

“I’ve been in politics for a very long time,” Newman said. “And I know what I’m doing.”

It’s unclear if Newman chose to step down or if she was forced to resign. Multiple news outlets have reported that she was physically removed from the White House grounds after she attempted to confront President Donald Trump about her departure.

Newman denied Thursday that she was escorted off the premises, citing a statement Thursday from the Secret Service that noted they had not been involved in her resignation or removing her from the White House.

“I like to hear all of these interesting tales, but I have to tell you that they are 100 percent false,” Newman said.

She continued: “The White House is the most secure place in the world. It is ridiculous to assert that anyone would be able to violate the security parameters that are outlined in the most secure building in the world.”

April Ryan, a correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network, was the first to report that Newman had been fired and escorted off White House grounds. She stood by her reporting during an appearance Thursday on CNN.

“I’m continuing to hear information from all sides ― I mean credible sources,” Ryan said. “I may have broken the story, but CBS, ABC, Wall Street Journal, New York Times ― I’m not the only one. I have no vendetta. I am a reporter who is covering the beat.”

Newman rose to prominence after appearing on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” and later on the sequel “Celebrity Apprentice.” She was handpicked by Trump to lead African-American outreach during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump thanked Newman for her service in a tweet on Wednesday.

Newman said she has always been “loyal” and “straightforward” with Trump in their 14-year relationship. Still, she suggested there were some aspects of working in the White House that didn’t sit well with her.

“I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and people,” Newman said. “And when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear.”

The White House would not elaborate on the dispute over the conditions of Newman’s departure.

“We don’t comment much further on personnel matters,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later Thursday. “The president likes Omarosa and thanked her for her service.”

Sanders also would not say why Newman was being paid through January, even though she resigned, referring questions to “HR” and saying that “she will be here later today.”

Newman earns an annual salary of $179,700, the highest salary bracket for White House staffers, according to the White House’s annual salary records.

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