Omarosa Manigault’s relationship with Donald Trump remains a head-scratcher, but the former Celebrity Apprentice contestant is a loyal friend and supporter of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.
At the 2016 Odyssey Network Business Retreat, Odyssey founder and CEO Linda Spradley Dunn interviewed her longtime friend and political organizer about Trump and their relationship for Essence.com.
Here are the highlights of the interview.
Linda Spradley Dunn: So tell us about your support of Donald Trump, as President.
Omarosa Manigault: When reality TV didn’t always have a position for me, he allowed me to work for his production company. Women must understand the importance of loyalty. Friendships are sacred to me. So when he called me and said, ‘I think I’m going to do it this year, I need your help,’ As a true friend, I had his back. I don’t agree with all his policies, but I know his heart.
I’m really glad you say you know his heart, because we don’t. I don’t know his heart. How do you reconcile some of the crazy things he says with the heart that you know?
I worked in the White House during the impeachment scandal. And I was constantly asked how can you work in the White House with what Bill Clinton did? I can survive scandal. There is no question that there are some very extreme policies, but as Donald says, I am his Valerie Jarrett.
I’m the person who pulls him back when he goes too far. There is a 50-50 chance that Hillary will be President or that Donald will be President. You should take comfort in the fact that there is someone who knows God, who loves the Lord, who can advise him so that he doesn’t go all the way off the edge. I’m not going to let him do something that would harm our people. I have an important responsibility in that circle and what I bring to that table and it’s not a very comfortable place to be.
At what point would you leave the room? At what point would faith walking, God-fearing Omarosa say no more to Trump?
I think that there have been several times throughout this campaign where I’m like you all. Sometimes he says something where I’m like Whoa! I recognize that I have the opportunity to have a conversation and get more context from him than you all do so I have a little more perspective. I know where he’s coming from and that gives me perspective.
Black women led the way for President Barack Obama to be elected. What is your hope for this election?
We need to continue having these types of discussions. We tend to get so emotional that we don’t really see clearly that there are going to be two people applying for a job for the presidency and we need to make sure that we are taken care of no matter what happens.
We all have the power, particularly Black women, to shape this election. We know that Black women’s votes count and that you will respect us no matter who goes in office. I head the national diversity coalition for Donald Trump, which includes Muslim, Black, White, Latinos and women. I brought them all together at a table with him. I’ve been building a coalition of women to make sure that we are at the table.
Read MORE at Essence.com.