After attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans on Friday night, White House aide Omarosa Manigualt walked out of the event as attendees protested her inclusion on a panel.
The panel discussion revolved around police brutality. During the discussion, Manigault and moderator Ed Gordon clashed as they debated theories. According to the Associated Press, Gordon asked Manigault how she was advocating for blacks in the administration, and asked her to account for President Trump’s recent comments that many feel promotes police brutality.
Gordon said “most of the black community does not understand,” how Manigault could “sit in a White House with a man who clearly is sending a signal to this country that police don’t have to…”
Manigault, seemingly offended by the direction of the questions, interrupted Gordon and objected.
“Are you suggesting I walk away?” she reportedly asked. “You don’t walk away from the table.”
In a video released by TMZ, Gordon is seen coming around a podium and stepping up to Manigault, as he continued his line of questioning, eventually towering over the seated aide.
“I did my best to try to keep this as civil as possible,” Gordon said.
After Manigault said she felt Gordon was being “aggressive,” she stood as well. The two argued, and Manigault brought up the murders of her father and brother.
“If you want to ask about the loss of my father and my brother and the issues I do, ask about my story,” she said. “I’m not going to stand here and defend every single word and statement. Ask questions about me or my father and brother.”
“I’m not going to stand here and defend everything about Donald Trump,” she continued, according to reports. She encouraged Gordon to ask her questions, but said she would not tolerate a lecture.
As Gordon and Manigault faced off, Gordon continued his attack against the president’s comments to the enthusiastic applause of the audience. After a clip of the president’s speech to a group of police cadets at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood was played, Manigault walked off the stage in disgust, according to reports.
Manigault, who gained fame on the first season of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” was officially hired for a White House position last January. Manigault previously worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.
Manigault told reporters at the time that she joined Trump’s campaign as the director of African-American outreach because “he’s a winner,” and praised his ability to create his tremendously successful Trump brand. She said, “The first law of being around Donald is you understand the value of the name Trump, and he made Trump a worldwide brand by destroying 16 primary candidates and taking out Hillary Clinton.”
You can see the exchange in the video below.
Manigault’s participation was at the event was debated and criticized, while some panelists even refused to attend after her involvement was announced. Attendees even protested Manigault’s appearance, turning their backs to her as she was on stage.
— Haniyyah Sharpe (@OnPoint24_7) August 11, 2017
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