Omarosa was only African-American earning the top White House salary

Omarosa Manigault Newman, ...

Posted: Dec 15, 2017 9:25 AM
Updated: Dec 15, 2017 9:25 AM

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a senior staffer who recently departed the White House and the only African-American drawing a top salary, said Thursday the "lack of diversity" was a challenge she grappled with.

"It has been very, very challenging being the only African-American woman in the senior staff," Manigault Newman told ABC News' "Nightline" on Thursday.

According to a July 1 salary report on White House personnel, 22 people earned the top salary

"It has been very, very challenging being the only African-American woman in the senior staff," Manigault Newman said

As top communications official at the White House Office of Public Liaison, Manigault Newman was charged with African-American outreach and said she regrets that the administration hasn't reached the level of diversity she "strove to see."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday maintained that despite Manigault Newman's departure they still have a "really diverse team."

Asked how many senior staffers in the White House are African-American now that reality television star has departed, Sanders said: "We have a really diverse team across the board at the White House, we always want to continue to grow the diversity here. We're going to continue to do that."

Sanders, asked directly in follow-up questioning, could not say how many senior staffers in the White House are African-American. The White House did not respond to subsequent CNN requests for comment.

But according to a July 1 salary report on White House personnel, 22 people (several of whom have since departed) were paid the top White House salary available, a sum of $179,700 a year. Manigault Newman was the only African-American employee in the top tier.

Sanders said that the first she heard of Manigault Newman's concerns was when she aired them on morning television shows on Thursday.

"It's something that we strive for every day, to add and grow and be more diverse and more representative of the country at large and we're going to do that," Sanders said from the podium.

She also said that Manigault Newman was not the only person in the administration charged with African-American outreach, pointing to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, as partners in the efforts.

Manigault Newman, a former "Apprentice" star, also defended President Donald Trump against criticism that he's racist.

"Yes, I will acknowledge many of the exchanges, particularly in the last six months, have been racially charged," she said. "Do we then just stop and label him as a racist? No."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9953104
Hinds9892198
Harrison7045110
Jackson6270119
Rankin5462102
Lee501095
Madison4734106
Forrest380586
Jones354888
Lauderdale3425145
Lafayette321549
Washington3161107
Lamar289250
Oktibbeha244362
Bolivar240984
Lowndes234164
Panola219850
Neshoba2196118
Marshall213850
Leflore204790
Pontotoc199228
Monroe197377
Sunflower191655
Lincoln188765
Warren175357
Tate168051
Union166025
Copiah163040
Pike161658
Yazoo154239
Scott152129
Itawamba151534
Pearl River150867
Coahoma150143
Alcorn149628
Simpson146753
Prentiss144230
Adams141150
Grenada140645
Leake133543
Holmes129961
George124524
Tippah124530
Covington122238
Winston121624
Hancock120239
Wayne117223
Marion115846
Attala112234
Tishomingo108942
Chickasaw107132
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96827
Clay90327
Clarke89353
Jasper82022
Walthall76328
Stone76114
Calhoun73913
Montgomery73625
Carroll72115
Lawrence70814
Noxubee70617
Yalobusha70627
Smith70516
Perry66126
Tunica60619
Greene60022
Claiborne58316
Jefferson Davis56517
Amite53114
Humphreys53119
Benton49117
Quitman4897
Webster43414
Kemper42518
Wilkinson39422
Jefferson34811
Franklin3365
Choctaw3237
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1144
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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