Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, is stepping down from her post. In a terse statement Wednesday, the White House said she "resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities. Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018. We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service."

Known as Omarosa from her reality TV days, Newman was White House director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison — although what her job actually entailed was less than clear. She was the highest-ranking African-American in the White House and a staunch defender of the president, telling PBS' Frontline before the 2016 presidential election 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."

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter a year ago, she said, "I am living the American dream because of Donald Trump. Look at my career, the wealth and exposure that I've had; it's very difficult to make the argument that Donald Trump doesn't like black people and black women."

Newman recently raised eyebrows in Washington for having a wedding photo shoot at the White House, reportedly to the surprise of other administration aides and security officials.

The circumstances of her departure are also unclear. According to American Urban Radio Network reporter April Ryan, Omarosa was escorted from the White House by the Secret Service, after trying to speak with President Trump at the White House residence Tuesday night.

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