Following the news of Newman’s departure, conflicting reports — from CNN White House correspondent April D. Ryan and BuzzFeed News, to name two — say she was escorted out of the White House on Tuesday night after being forced from her position.
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders claims that Newman signed a resignation letter in order to “pursue other opportunities.”
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Newman’s official position in the Trump White House was assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House’s Office of Public Liaison. During Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, she was the director of African-American outreach.
Newman had what sometimes appeared to be an ambiguous role in the White House orbit. The New York Times reported in September that chief of staff John Kelly had put her on a “no-fly list” of aides who he did not consider fit to attend serious meetings.
On Twitter, Ryan claims that sources are telling her it was Kelly who “had it” and fired Newman.
BuzzFeed News also reports that Newman was escorted out of the building, and contends that her past behaviour at official meetings helps bolster the story that she was fired. (There are several sources documenting her attendance at meetings she wasn’t invited to, and her initiation of off-topic discussions in high-level gatherings.)
According to CNN, it was Newman’s loyalty and friendship with Trump that kept her on-staff longer than anyone expected.
Newman and Trump have been acquaintances since 2004, when she appeared on the first season of The Apprentice. She became a reality star from the show, and is widely known for her aggressive, no-nonsense attitude. Trump later served as executive producer on dating show The Ultimate Merger, on which men competed for Newman’s affections.
Sources with ties to the White House have said they expect a wave of departures from the administration once Trump has completed his first year in office.
Whether she resigned or was fired, Newman will be finished at the White House as of Jan. 20, 2018.
— With files from ReutersFollow @CJancelewicz
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