There’s a certain smug satisfaction that Donald Trump is getting some comeuppance from Omarosa Manigault Newman. After all, Omarosa, as she’s universally known, owes her celebrity status to her appearances on The Apprentice, the show that made Trump a household name.
Her persona there was as the villain who will do and say anything to advance her cause, which may be why Trump liked her enough to give her a White House job. Now Omarosa is out with a book whose title, Unhinged, is exactly the word that people applied to her when she was on Trump’s reality show.
In it, she alleges that Trump used racist slurs on The Apprentice, wanted to be sworn in as president with his hand on The Art of the Deal, and was in general the “racist, bigot and misogynist” his opponents think he is.
Excerpts from the forthcoming book do contain one tidbit about the President’s thinking on gay issues. When daugher Ivanka was first dating Jared Kushner, Omarosa reports, she asked her father what she thought of him. “‘He seems a little sweet to me,’ he said, using his phrasing for ‘gay,’” Omarosa writes.
While you could picture Trump saying just that, how much anything in the book is true is anyone’s guess. Omarosa has bolstered her case by surreptitiously taping conversations in the White House. She released the tape of her being fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly and her subsequent conversation with Trump, who knew nothing about it.
There is a certain irony that Trump is being hurt by a celebrity of whose own creation who exhibits all of his same characteristics: disregard for the truth, exultation over enemies, and rampant opportunism (she’s a former Democrat).
But the satisfaction of seeing Trump outdone by someone employing his own tactics needs to be balanced with a reality check. As with her old boss, you take her word at your own peril. Just because she’s suddenly the enemy of our enemy doesn’t make her our friend.
In fact, Omarosa has her own anti-gay history.
She tried to sabotage TV host Piers Morgan when they appeared on Celebrity Apprentice a decade ago by hinting that he was closeted. Morgan subsequently revealed that Omarosa had proposed a “showmance” between the two of them and that when he rejected the idea, she called him an antigay slur. (Morgan isn’t a beacon for LGBTQ rights either.)
Omarosa also trashed out CNN anchor Don Lemon for “queenish behavior” and told him to “stop being such a queen.” His offense was cutting her mike off during an interview.
That hasn’t stopped Omarosa from being celebrated by some in the LGBTQ community. She headlined Philadelphia Pride in 2013, for example.
If it’s not already clear, Omarosa is interested solely in promoting herself. She changes positions more frequently than most people change their underwear.
She began her latest publicity scheme by doing a convenient 180-degree turn, boo-hooing about Trump’s transgender military ban to Stephen Colbert. She also told Colbert that her tearful breakdown to Ross Mathews on Big Brother was about Trump’s reversal of protections for Dreamers, illegal immigrants brought to this country as children.
But in typical Omarosa fashion, that turns it not to be true. Mathews said that the conversation was about the Trump administration in general, not Dreamers.
That’s the kind of fluency in lying that makes Omarosa such an unreliable narrator. No doubt some observations in her book are spot on. The excerpts about Mike Pence’s presidential ambitions seem on the money, for example.
But Omarosa learned a thing or two from Trump. Say whatever you need to close the deal and make it all about yourself. As for the buyer–well, that’s why the expression is “buyer beware.”