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Timothy L. O'Brien

Trump and Omarosa Are Kindred Spirits

My conversations with him about her star power.

Omarosa speaks.

Omarosa speaks.

Photographer: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Donald Trump and I used to talk a lot about Omarosa Manigault Newman. The future president was fascinated by her. He was fascinated by her self-absorption and nastiness, fascinated by her fleeting star power and fascinated by the fact that she was publicly recognizable by her first name alone, sort of like Prince or Madonna.

Except, of course, Omarosa wasn’t Prince or Madonna. This was back in 2004 and 2005 and Omarosa was a contestant on “The Apprentice,” a reality TV show that was, briefly, an incandescent hit. She wasn’t a musical genius, like Prince, or an abiding cultural force, like Madonna. Her celebrity was spun from much more gossamer stuff.