Omarosa reportedly "physically intimidated" black journalist April Ryan
No stranger to playing hardball on reality television, Omarosa Manigault seems to have brought that sensibility to the White House.
The Washington Post reported that Manigault, a former Apprentice contestant and current director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, "physically intimidated" journalist April Ryan, a White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, outside press secretary Sean Spicer's office in the White House on Wednesday.
During their confrontation, Ryan alleged that Manigault told her she was one of several black journalists on whom the Trump administration kept a "dossier" of information. Ryan dismissed the idea, the Post reported.
"I said, 'Good for you, good for you, good for you,'" Ryan told the Post.
When the Post contacted Manigault for comment, she said simply, "My comment: Fake news!" though she didn't specify what aspect of Ryan's story was fake.
Washington Post reporter Abby Phillip and several White House employees witnessed the altercation, which Ryan later described to Phillip as "Secret Serviceable," meaning Secret Service had reason to intervene.
The fight stems from emails exchanged between Manigault and Ryan, who used to be friends, during the election campaign, according to the Post. During the campaign, Manigault cited an Intercept article that detailed a cozy relationship between some reporters and the Clinton campaign. Ryan's name appeared on a separate list of potential surrogates who had never been paid.
According to the Post, Manigault sent Ryan several emails warning her that she should "protect [her] legacy" and to watch out for people "talking trash" on the reporters the list mentioned.
Ryan told the Post she did not take kindly to having her ethics questioned.
"It's just ugly," Ryan said. "She's trying to harm my integrity and my career. I've been [covering the White House] for 20 years. I plan to be here for the next 20 years. You don't mess with someone's livelihood."
Often referred to as reality television's "queen of mean," Manigault has made a career of confrontation. Yet her fights are usually televised. In 2008, Manigault appeared on the Wendy Williams Show to promote her career advice book The Bitch Switch and ended up insulting the host's wig. During a 2013 appearance on Bethenny, Manigault called host Bethenny Frankel "mediocre" to her face.