A former Apprentice star working for Donald Trump has been accused of "physically intimidating" a journalist and claiming the White House had a "dossier" on her.

Journalist April Ryan alleged Trump's communications staffer Omarosa Manigault had threatened her and said she was one of a number of journalists on whom the administration kept dossiers, The Washington Post reported.

The altercation took place outside press secretary Sean Spicer's office, with one witness – a Post reporter – stating Manigault was threatening enough to warrant secret service intervention, although there was no reaction from law enforcement.

"She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me," Ryan told The Post. "I said, 'You better back up.'

"She thought I would be bullied. I won't be."

However, Manigault's only response to the siuation was an emailed response to the paper, in which she said: "My comment: Fake news".

Her alleged comments on the White House keeping dossiers on Ryan and other journalists were denied by Spicer on 14 February.

Spicer said during his daily briefing with the media: "That is absolutely not true. There are no dossiers being kept."

However, he did not go into any further details on the claims.

Trump's dislike of the press has been well documented, with his team frequently using the phrase "fake news" to describe stories they dislike, and criticising the media for any stories critical of the president, including those reporting on the size of Trump's inauguration crowd at the end of January.