Cobb told Page Six that Omarosa's inclusion wasn't the sole reason for quitting the panel, branding the event "very disorganized".
"As best we can, we are there, and we are behind you", Gordon told the mothers.
"Ask about my story, I'm not going to stand here and defend every single word or decision", she said after standing up from her chair, according to video of the event.
Gordon addressed the controversy from the stage, and, at times, laughter could be heard when Omarosa's name was mentioned, something Omarosa pointed out later from stage.
Brittany Packnett - a Ferguson protester who rose to prominence inside the Black Lives Matter movement as a part of the policy group Campaign Zero, and a well-respected activist on race, justice, and policing - was among the fewer than 10 protesters who stood with their backs to Manigault as she spoke.
"When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon - you just see them thrown in, rough - I said, please don't be too nice", Trump said. But said she could not elaborate on private conversations with the president. She claimed she was there to talk about her personal experience with violence, as some of her family members have been murdered.
Omarosa and Gordon repeatedly spoke over each other during the panel as he tried to ask questions. Then, Gordon asked her about the Trump administration and her seat at the table there. He said at another point, "We all grieve the loss of another black person to police". But only seconds before the panel started, those plans were changed and panelists were told that Manigault wanted to join them onstage. "She's fearless to go into the lion's den".
April Ryan, a White House reporter who has at times been the target of attacks from Manigault and who has accused her of trying to ruin her career (the pair used to be friends), is being honored as the organization's journalist of the year.
Before giving the microphone to Glover, Gordon called the panel a "quagmire" that had "reached the point of diminished returns". "Ask questions about me or my father and brother".
She added, "Most people don't know my background".
And she argued that the issue of police brutality is front and center for the Trump administration, despite the president's recent comments, which were widely interpreted as endorsing the use of excessive force by officers.