Omarosa Manigault-Newman's Appearance at Black Journalists Convention Sparks Uproar

Omarosa Manigault

Omarosa appearance at black journalist conference doesn't go well

Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the reality TV star who has become an aide to President Donald Trump, received a chilly reception Friday at this year's National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans.

When Omarosa eventually took the stage, the conversation immediately grew heated. At one point, a video of Trump speaking played on the screen. "I don't want to hear your question", Ms. Manigault-Newman said, talking over him. "Honestly it was a total mess but one that accurately shows the divide between the mindsets of the African American community in this country today", she said.

The panel, titled "Black and Blue: Raising Our Sons, Protecting Our Communities", included Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile who was shot during a traffic stop in Minneapolis suburb in July 2016; Sandra Sterling, the aunt of Alton Sterling who was killed during an altercation with police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that same month; a retired police sergeant; and journalists who have covered police violence.

"No, I'm asking you about Donald Trump, " Gordon replied.

"It would be foolhardy that we could assume that anyone would come here and sit here and not ask certain questions, " Gordon said. "I'm not going to let you railroad this".

"I said, you can take the hand away, okay?"

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"We have reached the point of diminished returns", the moderator announced. "But you said that's OK", Castile said, referring to those who believed the officer should not be criminally convicted.

"Well you're right here, why don't you tell us?"

HeavyOmarosa joins the NABJ panel. But the event went on when Gordon agreed to fill in as moderator, he told the audience Friday. He stressed that things needed to stay civil. He said he was trying to keep decorum from the minute he walked in the room.

She maintained she uses her White House position to bring people together to discuss policy.

The NABJ has long invited members of the White House administration to participate in its conference, the group said in an earlier statement to TheWrap, however given the current climate, Omarosa -who now serves as Director of Communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison - was a particularly polarizing choice.

Robinson also noted audience reactions: "Through the whole thing, people were yelling at her, and she would respond by snapping back at them". As Gordon tried to turn the conversation, at times, to the Trump administration's policies, Omarosa would, at times, turn the conversation back to her family story.

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