Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman has claimed that she heard an audio recording of Donald Trump saying the N-word during filming for The Apprentice, the NBC reality show that raised Trump’s national profile and on which Newman played a prominent role. She unleashed a flurry of accusations against the president, including that he is a racist and misogynist, in a pair of interviews on Sunday and Monday. She also accused Trump’s chief of staff of falsely imprisoning her at the time she was told she was being fired and said corruption inside the White House is rampant.
As NBC News reports, Manigault Newman, the woman who once changed political parties due to her loyalty to Trump, mentions the alleged incident in her new book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, but writes that she had not heard the tape personally. Manigault Newman told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, however, that she has since been able to listen to the recording.
“[I] heard for two years that it existed, and once I heard it for myself, it was confirmed, what I feared the most: That Donald Trump is a con and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities.” As a member of the White House staff, Manigault Newman said she was “complicit” in this alleged deception.
“They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is,” she added, “how difficult it is for him to process complex information. How he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impacts our country. I was complicit, and for that I regret.”
Manigault Newman was abruptly fired from the White House last December, and reports at the time indicated that the break had been a hostile one, with Manigault Newman having to be forcibly escorted off campus. At the time, she told ABC News she believed Trump was not a racist. “I would never sit nor work for someone who I believe to be a racist,” she said in December just after being fired.
In a highly controversial move, Manigault Newman provided Meet the Press with audio recordings that she surreptitiously made on her phone while being fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly in the situation room.
Personal cellphones are not allowed in the space, and experts say that making secret recordings in the situation room could constitute a legal violation. But Newman said she wanted to release the recordings to prove that allegations about her being dragged out of the White House are untrue.
What the recordings do show is that Kelly told Newman her firing was a “non-negotiable discussion,” and that it stemmed from “pretty serious integrity violations.” Listen to the audio recording of the exchange below.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 12, 2018
In her interview with Meet the Press, Newman said she believes officials were reaching for a reason to fire her, and called on the White House to release her personnel file. Newman said she would love for the White House to release her personnel files.
“I’m saying it right now: Release it so that the American people can see that I worked my butt off to make a difference in this country and they were working for ways to frame me,” she said.
The Trump administration has staunchly pushed back against the claims Newman has made in her new book and to the press. “It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, “and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”
On Monday morning, Manigault Newman, appearing on NBC’s Today show, released another audio recording, this time made from a phone call she had with Trump the day after she was fired. “Omarosa? Omarosa what’s going on? I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving? What happened?” Trump can be heard saying on the recording, which is of very high audio quality.
“General Kelly — General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Manigault Newman replies
“No … I, I, Nobody even told me about it,” Trump tells her, prompting Manigault Newman to reply, “Wow.”
“You know they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it,” Trump then tells her. “I didn’t know that. Goddamn it. I don’t love you leaving at all.”
Listed to that recording below.
#Breaking: @OMAROSA provides @NBCNews with this exclusive excerpt of a recording of a phone call that she says she received from President Trump the day after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired her. pic.twitter.com/OJe47RdcDC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018
During her interview on Today with Savannah Guthrie, Manigault Newman said she was unsure of whether Trump was lying to her during that phone conversation. But, she said, if he was telling the truth and really had no idea, “That should be alarming to any American — that the President of the United States does not know what’s happening.” That led her to wonder who’s really in charge in Trump’s White House. “The other question is: Is General Kelly running this country, or is the president running this country?”
“It’s not acceptable for four men to take a woman into a room, lock the door and tell her … that she cannot leave. It also is unacceptable to not allow her to have her lawyer or her counsel and, the moment I said I would like to leave and they said I can’t go, it became false imprisonment,” Manigault Newman alleged. She claimed that many others have been treated by Kelly in a similar fashion. “There is a lot of very corrupt things that are happening in the White House — and I am going to blow the whistle on a lot of this.”
Watch her full interview with Guthrie below.