Donald Trump has lost a key ally in the White House with the abrupt resignation of former reality TV star and longtime supporter Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Ms Newman served as assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House’s Office of Public Liaison.
Her decision to leave was revealed in a terse announcement by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckerbee Sanders on Thursday morning (AEST), saying only she will “pursue other opportunities”.
A former star of Mr Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice, Ms Newman worked as the director of African-American outreach on the Trump presidential campaign.
Ms Sanders said Newman’s departure would take effect on January 20, 2018.
Ms Newman was the highest-ranking African-American in the White House and a staunch defender of Mr Trump.
Before the 2016 election, she told broadcaster PBS that “every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump”.
“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,” she said.
Ms Newman, known to The Apprentice fans simply as Omarosa, was often portrayed as the villain on the reality TV show, happy to undermine co-contestants in her pursuit of victory.
She was famed for having poured a glass of wine over British television personality Piers Morgan’s head during one heated episode of the show.
Her time with President Trump was not her first foray into politics, having served in former vice president Al Gore’s office during the Clinton administration.
She reportedly voiced support for Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton in 2014, before predicting Mr Trump would take out the presidency in 2016.
Ms Newman had what sometimes appeared to be an ambiguous role in the White House.
The New York Times reported in September that chief of staff John Kelly had put her on a “no-fly list” of aides who he did not consider fit to attend serious meetings.
Ms Newman raised eyebrows in Washington last month when she staged her wedding photo shoot at the White House, reportedly angering other Trump aides and security officials.
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A former White House official told CNN many of Ms Newman’s colleagues were “elated” by her resignation.
“People have long been unsure what she did at the White House,” the former official said, adding that people inside the White House had been openly wondering “what value she brought” to the administration.
Ms Newman’s resignation comes at the start of what’s expected to be a round of departures heading into the new year.
The White House last week said that deputy national security adviser Dina Powell will also leave the administration early next year.
– With agencies