None of President Donald Trump’s senior White House officials are black, while only a handful of his senior staff are of Latino, Asian or Arab descent, according to a CNN review of 48 senior White House officials.
CNN adds that the lack of diversity in Trump’s West Wing comes back into focus as Trump’s longtime adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman re-emerged into the public arena to promote her new book. Eight months since Manigault Newman was fired, Trump has yet to appoint a single African-American to a senior White House role as either an assistant or a deputy assistant to the President.
Manigault Newman was the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison and an assistant to the President for nearly a year. She was the only African-American in a senior White House role and earning the top White House staff salary of nearly $180,000.
“I was the only African-American at the table. If I left, which I did, when I left, there has been no new appointment of an African-American assistant to the President, which means that people are making decisions about us, without us,” Manigault Newman said Sunday in an interview on NBC.
According to The Independent, even Trump’s close aide Kellyanne Conway struggled to name one black senior adviser on the President’s staff. When asked on ABC’s This Week to name a prominent high-level advisor to the President in the West Wing of the White House, Conway struggled to answer. Instead, she redirected the conversation to Ben Carson, who is the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and not a member of the White House staff.
When This Week anchor Jonathan Karl pushed Conway further to name a black senior-level adviser in the White House, she named someone by their first name, Ja’Ron, who she said has been involved with Jared Kushner and the President’s efforts on prison reform. “He’s been there from the beginning,” Conway said, The Independent adds. However, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi pointed out that Ja’Ron Smith isn’t in the West Wing at all.
Marc Short, Trump’s former director of legislative affairs, later on ABC named another man, Daris Meeks, “who is head of policy for the vice president of the United States.” But Meeks no longer serves as Mike Pence’s domestic policy director, a role he left early this year to rejoin a D.C.-based law firm, Venable, Washington Post writes.
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement to CNN on Monday that Trump’s staff “is focused on getting results for all Americans.”
“The President hires people to execute his policies and his staff is diverse in race, gender, religion and background. This administration is focused on getting results for all Americans — and that’s what it’s done,” Gidley pointed out.