Omarosa Manigault made headlines when she was in the Celebrity Big Brother house for dire comments she made about the United States under a Donald Trump presidency. Now, the reality TV star has backpedaled a bit—and she explained it all during an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In the interview with late night host Stephen Colbert, Omarosa hinted that her statements about Trump were aired out of context and that her remarks were actually part of “a bigger discussion” she had with her Celebrity Big Brother housemates.
Omarosa was shown on Celebrity Big Brother telling fellow houseguest Ross Mathews “we’re not going to be OK” when he asked for reassurance about Donald Trump’s White House. But she says viewers didn’t see the full conversation.
“We were talking about immigration and roundups and particularly about a family of a man who had been in the country and was sent back,” Manigault told Colbert on The Late Show. “I believe that the immigration debate will continue. It’s a very difficult and complicated subject. I don’t believe it can be resolved so simply.”
When Colbert asked Manigault if she was referring to “DACA kids” or “immigrants” when she said “we’re not going to be OK,” The Apprentice veteran replied as follows.
“We have an opportunity to make it OK. I don’t want 15 seconds on a reality show to encapsulate such a serious subject.”
Omarosa ended her explanation of her Celebrity Big Brother comments by saying “we’ll have to wait and see” if everything is going to be OK under Donald Trump’s presidency.
But Ross Mathews begs to differ. The Celebrity Big Brother runner-up took to Twitter to dispute Omarosa’s recollection of their conversation. Mathews said he meant “no shade” toward Manigault, but he made it clear she was “mistaken” in her account of their discussion.
“No shade, but Omarosa is mistaken,” Ross Mathews wrote on Twitter. “This convo was not about the Dreamers (we discussed that at another time). This convo was about President Trump. When asked, she said we would not be okay. Simple as that. Perhaps BB can release the unedited footage.”
Fellow Celebrity Big Brother houseguest Mark McGrath seconded Ross’s comment about Omarosa’s recollection of the conversation.
No shade, but Omarosa is mistaken. This convo was not about the Dreamers (we discussed that at another time). This convo was about President Trump. When asked, she said we would not be okay. Simple as that. Perhaps BB can release the unedited footage. @colbertlateshow https://t.co/a5mppoktV6— Ross Mathews (@helloross) March 1, 2018
In the Celebrity Big Brother house, Ross Mathews made it his personal mission to get Omarosa to talk about her time working in the White House. Mathews told the Daily Beast he knew his initial conversation with Manigault would make headlines—especially when she said the U.S. would not be OK.
“I assumed it would make news,” Mathews told the Daily Beast. “In fact, as soon as the conversation was over I ran to the Diary Room and said, ‘Did you guys see that?’ I know what a scoop is. I knew what I was doing when I talked to her.”
During her three-week stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house, Omarosa Manigault was vocal about her concerns about the White House during her brief employment as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. Manigault told her Celebrity Big Brother co-stars that she was “haunted” by Trump’s tweets. Manigault explained to Colbert that the 45th president announced major policy issues—like the transgender military ban— on Twitter. Omarosa also gave insight to her controversial comment that leaving the White House was like “being freed from a plantation.”
“The White House that I worked in, that Trump administration, it was troubling and it was very difficult,” Omarosa explained. “And my analogy of it being a plantation, of being oppressed is pretty clear: When you’re not allowed to do the job that you were meant to do … that’s what they analogy meant. I was speaking about how I felt as the only African-American senior advisor to President Donald Trump.”
During her Celebrity Big Brother exit interview, Omarosa Manigault said she does think America will ultimately be OK.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think inside of the Big Brother house,” Manigault told Celebrity Big Brother host Julie Chen last week. “We can if we make a pivot as a nation. I was a part of and on the front row of probably one of the most divisive elections in our history. And as a nation, we’re better than that, we’re bigger than that, and we’re bigger than just two parties.”
You can see Omarosa Manigault’s full interview with Stephen Colbert below.