Omarosa Manigault Newman sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Wednesday night, where the host asked her about her recent comments on Celebrity Big Brother in regards to U.S. President Donald Trump’s presidency.
Newman’s latest comments on the topic came in response to her telling Celebrity Big Brother housemate Ross Matthews that the U.S. is going to “not be OK” under Trump’s leadership.
The former White House staffer clarified that the moment was “part of a bigger discussion” about immigration.
“I believe that the immigration debate will continue, and it’s a very difficult and complicated subject,” Newman told Colbert. “And I don’t believe that it can be resolved simply, and that was a part of the discussion, and that’s why I was a bit emotional.” She added, “We have an opportunity to make it OK, and I don’t want 15 seconds on a reality show to encapsulate such a serious topic.”
Colbert continued to press Newman, asking her, “Is everything going to be OK under Donald Trump?” Her answer: “We’ll have to wait and see.”
“You know, he announced major policy issues on Twitter,” she responded. “The transgender ban, for instance, was announced on Twitter … For someone who’s in communications, that’s not a place where you want to find out at five in the morning … you want to find out in a policy briefing.”
When asked whether it affected her opinion of Trump, Newman said: “Donald Trump was my friend for 15 years.”
“He fired you four times,” Colbert replied.
“And it’s landed me here on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, so I’m doing OK,” Omarosa said. “But he was my friend. And watching him in this position has caused me to, you know, be excited sometimes and sometimes be very, very concerned. And I think if … you woke up and your best friend was president tomorrow, you’d have that same range of emotions.”
“If my best friend was president tomorrow I’d feel better,” Colbert replied. “Because she is way smarter than I am.”
The host also asked Newman about her remarks on the reality show comparing leaving the White House to “being freed from a plantation.”
Newman replied: “The White House that I worked in, that Trump administration, it was troubling and it was very difficult. And my analogy of it being a plantation, being an ecosystem where people feel oppressed is pretty clear: When you’re not allowed to do the job that you were brought to do, to help be a change agent, to help be the liaison for communities that needed that assistance. That’s where that oppression comes from and that’s what that analogy meant, Stephen.”
She added that she saw the experience that way because “I was speaking about how I felt as the only African-American senior adviser to President Donald Trump.”
Watch part of Newman’s conversation with Colbert in the video above.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs on Global on weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT.