Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former senior White House official who has become a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, filed a motion Monday to join a lawsuit alleging gender pay discrimination in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“I am joining this effort for women and minorities to help level the playing field in the political arena between men and women,” Manigault Newman said in a statement to HuffPost. “It is time for all of us to blow the whistle on the wrongdoings of this Campaign.”
Manigault Newman sought to join a federal lawsuit filed in Florida in February by former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson, who alleges the campaign paid her and other female employees less than their male counterparts.
“The Campaign engaged in systemic gender-based pay discrimination against its female employees,” Johnson’s complaint says. “It knowingly and willfully paid its female employees less than its male employees for the same work.”
The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Johnson’s attorney, Hassan Zavareei, said in a statement to HuffPost that a preliminary analysis of employee compensation suggested female campaign staffers were paid 18.2% less than male employees. The alleged discrimination specifically targeted women of color, he said.
“While I strongly suspected I was subjected to pay discrimination while with the Trump Campaign, I have since seen expert analysis confirming this to be true,” Manigault Newman said in her statement. “The numbers don’t lie.”
She continued: “After nearly 20 years inside the beltway, working for two white houses and countless political campaigns, I’ve never witnessed such egregious violations as I did during my time under the leadership of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”
Johnson’s lawsuit also made headlines when she filed it in February because it alleged that Trump forcibly kissed her outside a rally in Florida in August 2016.
Johnson told The Washington Post she “immediately felt violated” when Trump kissed her “because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it.”
“I can still see his lips coming straight for my face,” she said.
The White House has denied the allegation, calling it “absurd on its face.”
Manigault Newman, who worked with Trump on the reality TV show “The Apprentice,” was fired from the White House and wrote a tell-all book about Trump’s administration last year called “Unhinged.” He has since savaged her on Twitter, calling her “wacky,” “vicious,” “not smart,” and “a lowlife.”