Just a couple of weeks ago, Charing wrote a piece about Omarosa Manigault. She noted that despite her infamous behavior, there’s something about Omarosa that was can’t get enough of. And when I read the piece, I understood exactly what she meant. There is something captivating about Omarosa’s nice-nasty persona. Even if we’re only watching in disgust and horror.
But Omarosa’s ties to the Trump administration as a communications official seem to make her actions which have further reaching consequences…like suppression of the press.
Specifically, April Ryan, a White House reporter with the American Urban Radio. Ryan told The Washington Post, that last week Wednesday, Omarosa got in her face outside of the Oval Office.
According to witnesses, Manigault and Ryan got into an argument. Ryan later told The Post that Manigault “physically intimidated” her in such a forceful manner that it warranted intervention by the Secret Service.
Ryan said Manigault told her that she was one of several journalists President Trump had collected dossiers of negative information.
According to The Post, Manigault and Ryan used to be friends. When they asked Omarosa for a statement regarding Ryan’s accusations, she replied via an e-mailed statement that read, “My comment: Fake news!”
Other witnesses included White House press office staffers and a Post reporter Abby Phillip.
Phillip said that she didn’t hear what was said between the two women but did say that afterward, Ryan told her Manigault’s behavior was “Secret Serviceable” meaning that it raised to a level where law enforcement needed to intervene.
Ryan said, “She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me. I said, ‘You better back up.’…She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not respond to a request for a comment.
The argument reportedly started due to emails Omarosa sent to Ryan during the presidential campaign.
Manigault sent an email asking Ryan if she was being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A claim Ryan denies. Manigault included a link to an article that detailed the ways in which the Clinton campaign had used their efforts to obtain favorable media coverage. The article mentioned that Ryan was on the list compiled by Clinton staffers as one of the journalists they hoped to influence but had not paid.
In the email, Manigault wrote, “This story suggests that as a reporter, you are (or were) a paid Clinton surrogate. I pray this is not true! This could be hurtful to your legacy and the integrity of your work.”
She sent a second one saying, “Protect your legacy! You have worked too hard to have people question you ethics as a journalist. People talking trash about the reporters on that listing have NO integrity. It’s hurtful to hear people say those things about you.”
Ryan said she was devastated by the intimidation and believed Manigault’s behavior was unethical.
“it’s just ugly. She’s trying to harm my integrity and my career. I’ve been [covering the White House] for 20 years. I plan to be her for the next 20 years. You don’t mess with someone’s livelihood.”
Ryan said that until Omarosa sent the emails, they had been friends. Manigault even asked her to be the bridesmaid in her forthcoming wedding. Ryan has declined.
The Rev. Marcia Dyson who knows both women said, “I hope both can do their jobs professionally and well and they put this behind them. Because all I see are two heartbroken friends.”
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.