Quick: What is the Office of Public Liaison in the White House? Chances are you’d never even heard of it before the drama queen – poor, pitiful Omarosa Manigault-Newman – got fired.
Still mystified as to what it does? More than likely.
So just how important was this special assistant to the president who was the communications director for that office?
Not very. That’s why the position remains unfilled even though poor, pitiful Omarosa was fired a full eight months ago.
For the record, this office was created to help the White House reach out to various special-interest groups. It arranges tours, staff briefings and other little perks to curry favor with the heads of these organizations in order to make them feel important and urge their various members to support the president’s agenda (my definition not the official one) by leaning on their representatives in Congress and by drumming up support among the general public.
It’s the closest thing to a political arm. However, it’s all legal and above-board and has been around since Gerald Ford made it an official part of the White House in 1976.
Is it necessary for the country? No.
Is it necessary for running the the White House? No.
Is it necessary for running the executive staff? No.
Should it be eliminated? Possibly.
It isn’t located in the West Wing or even the East Wing of the White House. It is in the office building next door.
It is important to understand that someone like Omarosa can have the title of “assistant to the president” with little or no regular access to the man himself. There are a lot of staffers with the title of “assistant,” “deputy assistant” and “special assistant to the president.”
The president makes about 4,000 political appointments. About half of those are in the Executive Office of the President, but only 400 or 500 work in the hallowed West Wing.
Running the White House staff is a big job, headed by Chief of Staff John Kelly. He doesn’t hire each staff member, nor does he have a personal relationship or even a working relationship with most of them.
However, it was Kelly who met with Omarosa for the very first time in the Situation Room to let her know she was being dismissed. He charitably let her “resign,” although we now know that she was fired for what Kelly called, “pretty significant integrity issues.”
To date we don’t know what those issues were. According to the tape she illegally made, these issues were explained to her by attorneys who remained with her after Kelly left the room.
Back on Sept. 15, 2017, Politico reported that Kelly was particularly frustrated with the Office of the Public Liaison. According to this site, he had expressed concerns that “it had not been properly managed” and had been a “dumping ground for problematic hires – or other patronage positions.”
Previously, Omarosa had worked in the Clinton administration in the office of Vice President Al Gore where she failed to impress. Gore’s former office administrator, Mary Margaret Overbey, said she “was the worst hire we ever made.” Omarosa was eventually transferred over to the Commerce Department where her supervisor, Cheryl Shavers, had her removed, calling her “unqualified and disruptive.”
In the Trump administration, it was well-known that Omarosa was disliked and made many enemies with her combative style. Not exactly part of the job description for a communications director. Clearly, she was hired because of her relationship with the president, in part, for her loyalty on the campaign.
Trump obviously felt bad that Omarosa didn’t make it in his administration and called to say he was sorry. Nevertheless, Omarosa turned on him as she has so many others, which, according to a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” was completely predictable. Kwame Jackson, who was a finalists on Season 1, said that appointing Omarosa to direct African-American outreach was “like appointing Benedict Arnold to lead the Revolutionary Army.”
Does Trump have a limited vocabulary and a “potty mouth”? We all know that he does. Does his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton also have a “potty mouth”? That, too, is well-documented, although her tirades were mostly buried by the media.
Did Omarosa really care about Trump’s expletives? Apparently not (according to her own tapes) until now.
“Unhinged,” the title of her tell-all about Trump, would be a better title for her own autobiography and for the anchors and producers who insist on turning their news shows into reality TV by giving her a forum.