Omarosa Manigault Newman secretly taped John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, as he fired her in December in the Situation Room, a breach of security protocols, but one that revealed him suggesting that she could face damage to her reputation if she did not leave quietly.The recording was played on Sunday on…
Omarosa Manigault Newman secretly taped John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, as he fired her in December in the Situation Room, a breach of security protocols, but one that revealed him suggesting that she could face damage to her reputation if she did not leave quietly.
The recording was played on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where Ms. Manigault Newman, a former adviser to President Trump, promoted her new book, “Unhinged.” In the memoir, which focuses on her relationship with Mr. Trump going back to her time on “The Apprentice,” she describes the world around the president as a cult in which he creates his own reality.
On the recording, Mr. Kelly says Ms. Manigault Newman could be facing “pretty significant legal issues” over what he alleged was misuse of a government car. She denied misusing it.
“I’d like to see this be a friendly departure,” Mr. Kelly says on the tape. “There are pretty significant legal issues that we hope don’t develop into something that, that’ll make it ugly for you.”
such as the fired F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.
In turn, Ms. Manigault Newman and another former Trump employee, Michael D. Cohen, who was once his personal lawyer, both taped key moments involving their time with Mr. Trump. White House officials and Mr. Trump have portrayed Ms. Manigault Newman and Mr. Cohen, who is under investigation in New York, as disgruntled and discredited figures.
“I think it’s incredibly important in Trump world that you protect yourself, because everyone constructs their own reality,” Ms. Manigault Newman told The New York Times on Sunday. “People around him try to reinforce that manufactured reality.”
Ms. Manigault Newman claims that in one tape, Mr. Trump uses a racial slur in off-camera remarks during his time on “The Apprentice.” She describes the tape in her book but has said she does not have it herself.
On ABC News’s “This Week,” the White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, was pressed on Ms. Manigault Newman’s claim that she was offered a hush-money contract with the Trump re-election campaign for $15,000 a month. It is the same amount that a few others who have departed the White House under inauspicious circumstances are receiving.
Ms. Conway said “that is not what was offered” to Ms. Manigault Newman. She acknowledged that all West Wing officials had signed nondisclosure agreements, a measure that Mr. Trump relied on for decades as a real estate developer.
“Why wouldn’t we?” she asked when the host, Jon Karl, pressed her on the issue.
Former White House lawyers and government ethics experts have said the agreements raised serious legal questions and reflected Mr. Trump’s refusal to submit to the norms of public disclosure or respect free speech rights.
Ms. Conway said Ms. Manigault Newman was manufacturing events.
“I have worked alongside that man for over two straight years now without interruption; I have never a single time heard him use a racial slur about anyone,” she said. “And it’s — and I also never heard Omarosa complain that he had done that. And so the only thing that’s changed is that she’s now selling books.”