Nothing to do with her stint in the Trump administration, which she already wrote about in a tell-all book.
No, on this day she was here as a judge of dogs.
She stopped by a Humane Rescue Alliance van to snap pictures with yellow-vested adoption pups and film a quick social-media spot.
“I didn’t even know who that was,” said Angela Pappalardo, 35, an HRA volunteer, after Manigault Newman, who was a contestant on “The Apprentice” before she was a White House staffer, left to mingle.
Other people did recognize her, and some asked her to take pictures with their dogs. Manigault Newman, who was wearing a white shirt with a torso-sized photo of her beloved Bishop (who was not present, due to age and anxiety), gladly obliged.
“Work is work,” she told The Post. “When people want to box you into your work, that isn’t fair. I’m more than just my occupation.”
For the competitors, Manigault Newman’s current role as a judge was more consequential. There were seven categories: Puppy, Senior, Most Handsome Male, Most Beautiful Female, Best Rescue, Most Impressive Outfit and Best Trick/Talent. Category winners would get the chance to compete for cash prizes. Lines extended down P Street, passing the “We are better than this!” sign depicting a caged child planted just outside.
The show was only about a mile from the White House but people seemed determined to keep politics at bay. “There’s no space for it,” said Mikhail Hamilton, 28, a graphic designer. “You got food and dogs around. Politics should be the last thing people broach.”
Owners tugged on leashes to corral their yipping pets, some decked out in checkered sweaters, jerseys and Halloween-themed bandannas. Small businesses partnered with the show, from local banks to specialty dog stores, manned stands and distributed promotional materials. A DJ spun dance remixes next to the gift table. Toward the back, a woman guided a half-dozen owner-pet duos through a quick dog yoga regimen. “Inhale fresh air, exhale stale air,” she said, wagging her tongue.
“This is what people need,” said Erin McPike, 36, a communications consultant. “Not to just sit on our couches and read Twitter.”
Twitter is where President Trump, in response to Manigault Newman calling him a “racist, misogynist and bigot” in her book, referred to her as a “dog” (one of the president’s go-to insults).
Manigault Newman has been out of the Trump administration for a while. Her presence as a canine competition adjudicator didn’t bug McPike. Doug Thornell, a D.C. native, nodded in agreement.
“Who cares?” the 43-year-old media consultant and political strategist said. “We don’t have neighborhoody things like this. That’s what this city needs more of.”
Competitors trotted down a green carpet while spectators oohed and aahed and the judges jotted notes onto their score sheets. Manigault Newman was the most vocal panel member, squealing and smiling at every dog entering her field of vision.
Matt Bruce, an assistant professor of forensic psychology at George Washington University and one of the event’s organizers, invited Manigault Newman personally. She’s been friends with Bruce and his husband for many years, and Bruce felt adding her to the program would help with publicity. The organizers did receive some negative feedback about Manigault Newman’s invitation, but there was no indication she was bad for business; they sold out the show.
“With the neighborhood becoming more diverse and gentrified, we thought why not create an event that would bring different people together over a common love?” Bruce said. “That’s the point of the show.”
Dogs are nonpartisan, multiple showgoers said. They get along with each other better than humans do, and people ought to learn from that, or at least appreciate that for a few hours. So people cheered, hugged and traded grooming tips. Yobany Matos, 37, who was working with Chef Reese Catering for the day, praised the communal atmosphere.
When the topic shifted to Manigault Newman, his face grew a little sour.
“Forgive, never forget,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Manigault Newman hasn’t forgotten her embattled former boss, who is now facing an impeachment inquiry.
“Impeachment is a very sad spectacle for the country to go through,” said Manigault Newman, who years ago was a Clinton administration staffer. “In this situation though, it’s important. There’s no way around it.”
Even during the competition there was no way around the news. During the Most Impressive Outfit portion, one owner came out with their dog Milo in a “whistleblower” outfit. The audience hollered.
“That’s so funny!” Manigault Newman said from the table, unable to stop grinning. “That is so funny!”