Chief counselor to President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, had trouble naming a single top black senior advisor in the West Wing in an interview on Sunday.

The most prominent black member of the White House team, former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman was fired months ago and is currently on a media tour accusing the president of being a racist. Conway was asked who would now rank as the highest-level black among personnel stationed in the West Wing.

“Who now is that person?” asked Jonathan Karl on ABC’s This Week. “[Who] is the most prominent, high-level adviser to the president on the West Wing staff right now?” First, Conway pointed to Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who does not work on Trump’s staff but rather oversees his own at department across the street from the White House.

Karl pressed Conway again to focus on the White House staff in particular. “I’m asking you about the White House staff,” Karl clarified. “I’m asking you about the people the president is with every day.” Conway mentioned “Ja’Ron,” whose last name and title she couldn’t remember.

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“We have Ja’Ron, who’s done a fabulous job, been very involved with — he’s been very involved with Jared Kushner and President Trump on prison reform from the beginning,” Conway said. “He’s been there from the beginning. He worked with Omarosa and others of us.” She was referring to White House policy adviser, Ja’Ron K. Smith, but his office is not in the West Wing, The Washington Post reported.

“What does that say to have not a single senior adviser in the West Wing who is African American?” Karl asked. “I didn’t say that there wasn’t,” Conway said, without providing any names.


“There are plenty of people,” Conway said. “If you’re going by that and not by the actions of the president, which you probably should, then you should look at the fact that we have a number of different minorities. And the fact is that this president is doing well for all Americans.”

Later in the show, former White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short named officials who are black and working at the West Wing.

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