Omarosa Manigault says she received death threats, friends stopped talking to her for supporting Trump

She was the campaign's African-American outreach director.

November 11, 2016, 1:49 PM

— -- Omarosa Manigault, the former “Apprentice” contestant who was the Trump campaign’s director of African-American outreach, said she caught “a lot of flak” and received death threats for supporting the president-elect.

“I was called every single racial slur in the book that you could direct towards an African-American by African-Americans,” she said through tears.

The campaign aide told ABC News' “20/20” that her support for Trump led to her being frozen out by some of her friends and family members, including one who was supposed to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this spring.

“I will never forget the people who turned their backs on me when all I was trying to do was help the black community,” Manigault said. “It's been so incredibly hard.”

Manigault was an active presence on the campaign trail, stumping for Trump at events across the country, and was criticized at times for making controversial remarks. At the Trump victory party on election night, the conservative online news outlet Independent Journal Review quoted Manigault as saying the Trump campaign had kept “a list” of people who didn't support his run for the White House.

"Let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory, and we're keeping a list," Manigault told the news outlet, while also suggesting that South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was an enemy.

PHOTO: Donald Trump greets campaign manager Kellyanne Conway along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (back to camera) and staff member Omarosa Manigault (hugging Christie) after being declared the winner of the presidential election.
Donald Trump greets campaign manager Kellyanne Conway along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (back to camera) and staff member Omarosa Manigault (hugging Christie) after being declared the winner of the presidential election.
Louis Lanzano/Polaris

But Manigault told “20/20” she made those comments “in jest.” The Trump campaign hasn’t commented on whether such a list exists.

“Everything that we say has consequences. I mean, words matter,” she told “20/20.” “And so something I say in jest will be a headline, and it happened to me at our victory party that I said something in response to Lindsey Graham not honoring his pledge to support the nominee, and then it became a headline.”

Manigault also appeared in an interview for a PBS special in September and said, "Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It's everyone who's ever doubted Donald, who's ever disagreed, whoever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe."

In her interview with “20/20,” Manigault clarified her statement, saying she was speaking her opinion at the time and not speaking on behalf of the campaign.

“That wasn't an official statement from the Trump campaign,” she said. “That was just all me.”

VIDEO: Trump Supporter Omarosa Manigault Explains 'Bow Down to President Trump' Comment
Manigault, a former contestant on 'The Apprentice' and campaign director of African-American outreach, says she was speaking for herself when she made the controversial remark.

Manigault said she met Trump for the first time while taping season one of his reality TV series, “The Apprentice.” It was during that time Trump was recorded having an off-camera conversation with Billy Bush in which the president-elect made extremely lewd comments about women. The tapes of that conversation were leaked this October, 11 years later, and became known as the infamous “Access Hollywood” tapes.

“I think everybody was a bit offended, and it’s inexcusable, and I won’t excuse it in any way,” Manigault said of the taped conversation. “He’s apologized … I don’t want to see what happens in men’s locker room, of what men say amongst themselves. I don’t want any part of that, and that’s exactly what I feel like I was listening in on, a conversation that I shouldn’t have been privy to.”

“I have never seen him act inappropriately in the 14 years that I’ve known him,” she added.

Manigault said she has stuck by Trump because he has never stopped supporting her career. After her time on “The Apprentice,” she eventually partnered with Trump to create a reality dating television series.

“He found a way to incorporate me into every single thing that he did because he believed in me,” she said.

It doesn’t matter if the cameras are on or off, she said, Trump is the same person.

“Donald Trump doesn’t turn it on or off. He is who he is,” she said. “Everyone tried to define him and put him in boxes, and that’s why they get him wrong, and that’s why they underestimated him in this race.”

ABC's John Santucci contributed to this report

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events