“It has been very, very challenging being the only African-American woman in the senior staff,” she said on ABC’s Nightline.
Newman, acting as communications director in the Office of Liaisons until her final day on Jan. 20, 2018, said it “was very lonely” working alongside Trump’s other senior advisers — the majority of them — who “had never worked with minorities, didn’t know how to interact with them.”
“There was a lack of diversity that I will acknowledge,” she said.
Once Newman, 43, leaves her post, there will be no African-American members among Trump’s senior staff, she said. “I regret that we haven’t reached the level of diversity in this administration that I strove to see.”
Despite the accusations of minimal diversity and the country-dividing events that’ve occurred under his watch, like Charlottesville, Newman insists that Trump, her longtime associate since 2004’s inaugural season of reality show The Apprentice, is not a racist.
“Yes, I will acknowledge many of the exchanges, particularly in the last six months, have been racially charged,” she said. “Do we then just stop and label him as a racist? No.”
Newman says she’s leaving the White House on good terms with Trump.
Thank you Omarosa for your service! I wish you continued success.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
“He was sad to learn about my departure,” she said, adding, “I regret that he found out about it on the television.”
Newman also teased that she has a story to tell in the future.
“When I have the chance to tell my story, it’s quite a story to tell,” she said on Good Morning America on Thursday. “As the only African-American in this White House … I have seen things that made me uncomfortable, upset me … and affected my community and my people.”
When confronted about the diversity issue on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tried to defend the lack of African-American staff members, and refused to reveal the number of black individuals who work for the Trump team.
“We have a really diverse team across the board at the White House,” she said. “We want to always continue to grow the diversity here. We’re going to continue to do that.”
The White House would not confirm Omarosa’s statement that no other African-Americans work for Trump’s senior staff. While the Trump administration’s surgeon general, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, and secretary of housing and urban development, Ben Carson, are black men, neither of them are considered White House staff.
The latest Gallup poll shows that only 8 per cent of black Americans approve of Trump’s presidential performance.
(You can watch a clip of the interview, top.)
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