People Turn Their Backs on Trump Surrogate Omarosa During Heated Panel at Journalist Convention
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This story originally appeared on People. Omarosa Manigault found herself in some hot water at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in New Orleans on Friday. Heated words, walk-outs and turned backs were as much part of the conference as the questions leveled at Manigault — whom many thought was dodging serious questions about President Donald Trump and his attitude about police brutality, NPR reported. “I’ll do my best to try to keep this a civil as possible,” broadcast journalist and fellow panelist Ed Gordon said in a video clip of the panel, shared by a Twitter user. “Don’t be aggressive,” Manigault responded, as she stood up. Gordon, who had shared a tweet prior to the meeting about his career being “built on controversial interviews,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, went toe-to-toe with the  43-year-old by saying “I’ll ask the questions in my way.” “Shame on you,” Manigault said. “Let me tell my story,” Manigault told Gordon. “Ask me a question about me.” The two continued to spar as they got in each other’s face. When Gordon said he wanted to talk about Trump, Manigault tried to bring the conversation back to her personal story for a panel which was centered on those who have lost loved ones to violence. Manigault’s father was murdered when she was a child and her brother was murdered in 2011, NPR reported. But the dramatic mood of the meeting didn’t seem to let up as the conference continued. As the conversation shifted to the president’s efforts to deal with police brutality, tensions seemed to escalate. “You don’t walk away from the table,” Manigault responded when asked why she would take a job in an administration they viewed as being hostile to African Americans, NPR reported. “Because if you’re not on the table, you’re on the menu,” she said. The Apprentice alum’s attendance at the panel, titled “Black and Blue: Raising Our Sons, Protecting Our Communities,” came after Trump had made controversial remarks about police aggression. In late July, while addressing a group of police officers, the president said cops should get more “rough” with suspected criminals while making arrests. “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’” Trump said, according to CNN. Those comments were played during the panel. And when asked at the panel what kind of work she has been doing with the Department of Justice on curbing aggressive policing, Manigault had a dismissive answer: “Google me.” Previously Manigualt — who served as the director of African-American outreach during Trump’s campaign — said that all of Trump’s naysayers would be proven wrong. “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she boasted in a Frontline special that aired in September. “It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.” At several points in the conference, participants turned their back to the panel — and a number of journalists walked out, NPR reported.

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