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‘Apprentice’ Alum Omarosa Hired, Joins Donald Trump’s White House Staff

Ben Gabbe, Getty Images
Ben Gabbe, Getty Images

Another face from President-elect Donald Trump‘s past has joined his incoming White House staff: Omarosa Manigault, whose contestant role on Season 1 of The Apprentice launched her longtime career as a reality TV star, has been hired. She’ll work as assistant to the President and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, according to CNN.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus announced the formal appointment in a statement, along with news of 10 additional new hires, including fired “Bridgegate” Chris Christie aide Bill Stepien as White House political director.

“These individuals will be key leaders in helping to implement the President-elect’s agenda and bring real change to Washington,” Priebus said in a statement. “Each of them has been instrumental over the last several months, and in some cases years, in helping the President-elect.”

Omarosa first came into the public eye on The Apprentice, where her role as a villain on the show made her a draw. Prior to that, she briefly worked in the office of then-Vice President Al Gore, though a 2004 People article titled “Omarosa’s Long History of Being Fired” claims the reality star was “banished from four jobs in two years within the Clinton Administration.”

Cheryl Shavers, a former Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department who worked with Omarosa at one job she reportedly held for just a few weeks, said that “[Omarosa] was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive.”

Since then, Omarosa has taught branding and marketing at Howard University and has appeared as a pundit on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Like Trump, Omarosa has had occasional forays into acting, including small roles on Girlfriends and a 2015 film called Touched, and has appeared on dozens of reality shows including The Surreal LifeI Love New York, Battle of the Network Reality Stars, and various seasons of The Apprentice over the years.

Manigault joined the Trump campaign as director of African-American outreach in July of 2016; according to a nonpartisan Pew Research report, Donald Trump received 8% of the black American vote in the election.

“I believe the first reason that Donald Trump is running for president is because he truly believes that he can help turn the nation around,” Manigault told PBS’ Frontline in an interview during the election. “The second reason I believe is that this is the greatest position in the world, to be at the center of political power, of the universe. But more importantly, every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump.”

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