“It’s so bad.” That’s Omarosa Manigault Newman’s take on the Trump administration.
If you thought Omarosa (she’s back to just one name now) was done with the White House after allegedly being escorted from the building in December, you obviously thought very wrong. The former staffer will be dining out on her time at the table as long as everyone’s hungry for details. Case in point: “Celebrity Big Brother.”
The competition show premiered Wednesday on CBS with plenty of So Very Omarosa moments to dive into, but it’s a newly released snippet of Thursday’s episode that has everyone talking. The clip shows Omarosa and TV personality Ross Mathews having a heart-to-heart about what the heck’s going on in the West Wing, where Omarosa spent almost a year as the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump administration.
“From the outside, can I tell you as a voter, as a citizen, I never got it, why you went to the White House with him,” Mathews, a red carpet reporter, said in his best serious interviewer voice.
“I felt like it was a call to duty,” Omarosa answered, already on the verge of tears. “I felt like I was serving my country, not serving him . . . It was always about the country. Like, I was haunted by tweets every single day, like what is he going to tweet next?”
Mathews, like the rest of the world, wondered aloud if anyone says to the president, “What are you doing?”
“I mean, I tried to be that person and then all the people around him attacked me. It was like keep her away, don’t give her access, don’t let her talk to him,” Omarosa said, now in full-on cry mode. “And it’s like Ivanka’s there, Jared’s there …”
So does anyone have the power to rein in the president?
“I don’t know, I’m not there,” she said. “It’s not my circus, not my monkeys. I’d like to say not my problem, but I can’t say that because it’s bad.”
“It’s so bad,” Omarosa concluded in this very special episode of “Celebrity Big Brother” that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders may have to watch because that’s where we are now.
While Wednesday’s premiere episode was less dramatic, the former White House aide’s presence in a house of “celebrity” contestants — who all have no clue who they’ll be spending 24/7 with until the very moment they get tossed in the fishbowl together — was still notable.
Broadway and Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur let out an “oh my God” when Omarosa strutted across the stage during the opening show.
And Mathews, the future recipient of her confidences, didn’t pull any punches.
“I can’t do toxicity and negativity,” he said after explaining that the former “Apprentice” villain was the one famous face he didn’t want to see inside the house. “Oh my Omarosa.” But now we know that by the next night, the pair got cozy enough for a tete-a-tete on President Trump.
It was clear from the start that the former reality star hadn’t let the White House change her. This was still the same old Omarosa with the authoritative alto of a boss and the bravado of a bulldog, but none of the actual results to back up any of that big talk. She’s been fired by Trump a total of three times now, and no one ever quite figured out how she spent her busy days at 1600 Penn. But does any of that matter?
“I’m exceptional in everything that I do,” Omarosa said in all seriousness during her introductory reel, perched atop an executive desk and decked out in a fuchsia ballgown. In her own mind, she was “a reality-TV legend,” a Washington insider.
“The one thing that I learned from politics is you have to know how to watch your own back, and in some instances you gotta watch your front, too,” she said. Omarosa would later reveal her strategy: build trust and a “strong social game” among her fellow house guests.
In the first episode, she managed to rally the female contestants — including her roomie, “American Pie” actress Shannon Elizabeth — around a common cause: defeating the guys. (Omarosa even managed to randomly win safety from the first eviction by just standing on the number five. It’s a “Big Brother” thing.) And if the excerpt from Thursday’s episode is any indication, the “strong social game” is winning over allies like the affable Mathews.
Maybe Omarosa really is the reality-show legend she claims to be.