The feud between veteran White House reporter April Ryan and senior White House aide Omarosa Manigault might have appeared to reach its peak with that heated confrontation outside the Oval Office in February. But apparently the conflict between the former friends is soooo not over.
As Rye says, “The tea that April Ryan spills? OMG, OMG, OMG!”
But asked to respond to some of the allegations, Manigault accused Ryan of exaggerating and profiting from their spat. “She is using me as clickbait, and that has to stop,” Manigault said.
To recap, here’s Ryan’s Burn No. 1: Ryan, who reports for American Urban Radio Networks, told Rye that Manigault works in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, not in the White House. And worse, “I heard she had an office she shares with people,” Ryan said.
In a world where proximity to the president is everything, and an office of one’s own is a status symbol (oh, hey, Ivanka!), that’s the equivalent of saying she’s sharing a closet in Siberia.
Another dig at the reality TV star-turned-White House aide?
Though she was a regular TV presence, getting her start as a contestant on “The Apprentice,” which was hosted by Donald Trump, Manigault had a less-than-glamorous job before she began working for the Trump campaign, Ryan claims. “What were you doing?” Ryan recalls asking her during the famous fight. “Nothing but selling cellphones.”
Manigault, whose title is director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, tells us that she ran a telecom company with multiple employees, including veterans and disabled people, that had contracts with companies like Disney, Apple and Intuit TurboTax. “I’m very proud of my work,” she said.
And the most surprising revelation in the podcast interview: Ryan accuses other Trump aides of breaking up her friendship with Manigault, which she describes as genuine. Ryan, after all, was slated to be a bridesmaid when Manigault tied the knot with Florida-based pastor John Allen Newman in April.
“Come to find out from one of her friends, the campaign was not happy with our alleged friendship,” Ryan said. “Because they watch my Twitter and they watch my social media still to this day. So they were chastising her, I’m finding out, and she was finding a way to break the friendship off.”
At this point, Rye, the host, interjects with a sentiment we’d second. “This sounds like reality TV,” she said. (Free show idea: “Real Housewives of Pennsylvania Ave.”)
Ryan said Manigault began undermining her by spreading rumors that she was being paid by the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, something Ryan has flatly denied. (As previously reported, Manigault in October emailed her friend an article in the Intercept that suggested Ryan was among a group of journalists the Clinton camp hoped to influence.) “She’s running around telling our mutual friends that I was taking money from Hillary Clinton,” Ryan recalled on the podcast. “When that happened, I was done.”
Manigault, Ryan said, also told then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer not to call on her in the briefing room. She told other sources to freeze her out, Ryan said, and even tried to get her fired. “She wanted to kill my career,” the journalist claims.
But the White House staffer says Ryan is making up elements of their conflict, and she particularly focused on their dust-up outside the Oval Office. “It makes me sad that six and a half months after this incident that she continues to fabricate a story and every time she tells it gets more dramatic,” Manigault said. “None of it is true.”
Ryan didn’t respond to a request for a comment on the whole shebang, saying she preferred to let her podcast interview stand. But her on-air response to all the drama was fairly serene. “You know what?” she asked Rye. “Karma comes back.”
Manigault, too, had a final insult in the form of a backhanded blessing: “It’s my prayer that she finds a way to move on.”