Omarosa Manigault, former contestant on "The Apprentice" and current assistant to President Donald Trump, and BET host and panel moderator Ed Gordon had a heated exchange during the National Association of Black Journalists' (NABJ) convention on Friday, August 11 in New Orleans. Others said she had no business being there in the first place (as she isn't a journalist) and as an actual representative of the White House, she refused to add anything substantive to the discussion - and so earned her cold shoulders.
"Don't be aggressive", Manigault said.
"Shame on you", Manigault -Newman told Gordon just minutes after coming on stage. "Ask questions about me or my father and brother".
When it was announced that Manigault - who serves in the Trump administration as the communications director of the Office of Public Liaison - was participating in a discussion on police brutality at the conference, two of the panelists dropped out, including New York Times Magazine reporterNikole Hannah-Jones - who was scheduled to moderate.
In the midst of attempts to restore order, Manigault quietly summoned her security and exited the panel.
Gordon later suggested that there was a debate among the panel organizers about whether Manigault-Newman would be asked about the Trump administration during the event. Trump recently said some police officers are too courteous to suspects when arresting them.
"I fight on the front lines every day", Manigault said, rejecting the accusation that she is not an advocate for African Americans issues in the White House.
Heading into the forum, numerous conference attendees said they were steeling themselves for the appearance of Ms. Manigault-Newman, who became famous on "The Apprentice" and has had several fiery exchanges with journalists.
She maintained she uses her White House position to bring people together to discuss policy.
She said that part of the problem is an unwillingness of activists to come to the table.
At one point, she accused the moderator of making light of her family's tragedy, which he denied. "Her personal experience is her personal experience".