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Reporter claims White House aide ‘physically intimidated’ her

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

One reporter is claiming Omarosa Manigault, director for the White House's Office of Public Liaison, "physically intimidated" her in the West Wing.

April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, is claiming she got into a heated confrontation with Manigault, who warned her about "dossiers" of embarrassing information the White House had collected about her and other black journalists it felt could be problematic.

"She stood right up in my face like she was going to hit me," Ryan told the Washington Post Monday. "I said, ‘You better back up.' ... She thought I would be bullied. I won’t be."

According to the Post, the friction between Ryan and Manigault, who helmed President Donald Trump's African-American outreach efforts during the campaign, began in the fall:

In October, Manigault sent Ryan an email raising questions about whether Ryan was being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — a claim Ryan vigorously denies. Manigault included a link to an article from the Intercept, which covers national security issues.

The article detailed the Clinton campaign’s effort to secure favorable media coverage by “manipulating” reporters; it included a list compiled by Clinton staffers of TV surrogates who were part of the campaign. It published a separate list of journalists, including Ryan, whom the campaign hoped to influence but were not paid by the Clintons.

“This story suggests that as a reporter, you are (or were) a paid Clinton surrogate,” Manigault wrote in the email. “I pray this is not true! This could be hurtful to your legacy and the integrity of your work.”

Ryan said she was very upset by any suggestion that she is an unethical journalist.

"It’s just ugly," the reporter said of Manigault's comments. "She’s trying to harm my integrity and my career. I’ve been [covering the White House] for 20 years. I plan to be here for the next 20 years. You don’t mess with someone’s livelihood."

And Manigault's supposed "dossiers" claim is nothing new. During the election, the former "Apprentice" star said Trump was maintaining "a list" of Republican opponents who rejected the billionaire businessman. She made the claim when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he would be voting for then-independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin instead of Trump, the GOP nominee.

"I would never judge anybody for exercising their right to and the freedom to choose who they want. But let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list," Manigault told the Independent Journal Review at the time.

In response to the alleged "dossiers," Ryan had this to say: "Good for you, good for you, good for you."

One last thing…
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