People turn their backs on Trump surrogate Omarosa at journalist convention

“Celebrity Apprentice” alum turned presidential advisor Omarosa Manigault-Newman is getting a cold reception from some at the  National Association of Black Journalists convention, happening this week in New Orleans.

Attendees' social media posts indicate audience members turning their backs while she spoke. She appeared on a panel regarding police brutality and things got tense in a hurry.

UPDATE: NABJ has released a statement; read it below

Ahead of time, TV One commentator Roland Martin said it was a mistake to have her on the panel, and that perhaps some other format, where it was clear she was going to be interviewed and speaking on behalf of the Trump Administration, would have been appropriate. (Hear an audio clip of his interview below.)

As it was, Omarosa (who typically goes by her first name) was included on the panel, titled“Black and Blue: Raising Our Sons, Protecting Our Communities,” with others who have lost loved ones to violence. Her father was murdered when she was a child, and her brother was murdered in 2011. She wanted to focus on her loss and blanched when asked to respond to Trump administration policies, or to the president telling police officers not to "be too nice" when arresting suspects.

She stood and walked across the stage, taking issue with questions from the get-go.

"Don't be aggressive," she told moderator Ed Gordon of Bounce TV. Ahead of time he posted, "My career has been built on controversial interviews. Let's see what happens today."

Here's what happened:


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Here's the response by some audience members.

Here's the clip of Roland Martin discussing the matter:

NABJ later issued this statement via its web site:

"As an organization of professional journalists, NABJ seeks to have candid and frank conversations with newsmakers. For years, the NABJ has invited the White House administration to participate in the annual convention.

Omarosa Newman, Director of Communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, was invited as a panelist this year to share her perspective on issues that are critical to our members, and moreover, critical to the communities that we serve. During her time on the panel, she exercised her right to decide which questions she wanted to answer, and which she did not want to answer.

Moderator Ed Gordon asked tough questions and the Q&A quickly became combative. NABJ does not endorse the positions or the discourse by panelists or moderators at its programs."

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett
Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for