- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Reality television star Omarosa Manigault, who got her start on Donald Trump’s former NBC series “The Apprentice,” says the president-elect will empower women once in office and help them “shatter the glass ceiling.”

Ms. Manigault, who served as director of African-American outreach for Mr. Trump’s campaign, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday about her position on the president-elect’s transition team to focus on national engagement.

“He has given me a personal directive that with the 4,000 jobs we need to fill, he wants his administration to be the most diverse in history,” she wrote for The Hollywood Reporter. “He wants it to look like America.

“I am black, female, and Donald Trump is my friend,” she said. “In my experiences with him, he has only been professional. I am aware of the perceptions. But he is open-minded: He does not judge people on their gender or race. He judges them on their ability to do the job.”

Ms. Manigault said the Trump Organization has more women executives than its competition and they are the highest-paid executives in the company.

“Look at his daughter Ivanka, who is about to take over the company,” she argued. “As early as the ‘80s, he has had women in roles as construction managers. That was unprecedented. Look to his past to see what he will do for women in this country. I believe he will empower women and have them shatter the glass ceiling.”

“One other note that is often lost: He allowed me to take my show, The Ultimate Merger, to a black entrepreneur, Cathy Hughes, on a black network, TV One,” she wrote. “It was a dating show — with an African-American cast. That point often is lost when people are trying to paint him with an ugly brush. One of the concepts we came up with was that there had never been a black Bachelorette or Bachelor on that ABC franchise. So we created our own version.”

Ms. Manigault said she is “living the American dream” because of Mr. Trump.

“Look at my career, the wealth and exposure that I’ve had: It’s very difficult to make the argument that Donald Trump doesn’t like black people and black women,” she wrote. “As for our friendship, I can give you an example of the time when my brother was murdered about five years ago. I was destroyed. Donald was very concerned and one of the first people to contact me. Then my fiance, Michael Clarke Duncan from ‘The Green Mile,’ died of a heart attack. Donald gave me great support at that time. He told me how he knew what a great guy Michael was and how happy I had been with him at that time and how huge a loss it was for me. I can tell you I experienced a kindness and compassion the world has not seen — the world does not know that side of Donald Trump.”

Ms. Manigault said last month that her support for Mr. Trump has resulted in her being the target of racial slurs and death threats from fellow black Americans.

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