- The Washington Times - Monday, August 13, 2018

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman revealed new secret recordings on the president Monday after publicly releasing audio from the situation room over the weekend.

In the clip that aired on the “Today Show,” the president asked Ms. Manigault Newman why there were news reports of her leaving the White House. She said the call came the day after she was fired by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. 

“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys want me to leave,” she said.

“No..I, I — Nobody even told me about it” Mr. Trump said.

“Wow,” Ms. Manigault Newman said.

“You know they run a big operation but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Godda—m it,” Mr. Trump said, “I don’t love you leaving at all.”

NBC News did not know what was said before or after that short exchange.

On Sunday, Ms. Manigault Newman provided audio of Mr. Kelly firing her in the White House’s Situation Room to NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Excerpts of the tape were played on air.

During her exclusive interview on the “Today Show,” Ms. Manigault Newman questioned who holds power in the White House.

“Is General Kelly running this country, or is the president running this country?” she said, “Who is running this country when Donald Trump says, ‘they are running a big operation,’ who is the ‘they.’ “

The former “Celebrity Apprentice” star said Mr. Trump “absolutely” lies all the time, and she isn’t sure if he lied during his call with her. Ms. Manigault Newman stood by the statement she made on “Meet the Press” that she believed the president did instruct Mr. Kelly to fire her.

She claimed that the White House destroyed some of her personal belongings that they still had possession of. Ms. Manigault Newman also described being in the Situation Room as “false imprisonment,” because she claimed the staff held her there for hours without counsel or her husband.

Ms. Manigault Newman also said there are more tapes to prove Mr. Trump used the N-word about African-American producers during his time on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” She also said there are three sources in her book that corroborate her accusation.

“There’s multiple tapes, let’s be clear about that,” she said.

Her book claims the president uses racial slurs, even toward senior White House aide Kellyane Conway’s husband. George Conway refuted her claims.

Ms. Manigault Newman stood by her decision to make the secret recordings.

“Had I not recorded this, everyone would say she has a credibility issue,” she said. “The first thing they do when someone leaves this White House, Savannah [Guthrie], is say, ‘They don’t have credibility. They were just a coffee person. They didn’t have access. They never talked to the president. They weren’t in the room.’”

She refused to answer how she was able to record both the president or Mr. Kelly, saying, “I’ll leave that to your imagination.”

Some security experts are concerned the recordings could have compromised national security.

Ms. Manigault Newman explained that as a whistleblower, she is not worried about any legal ramifications.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley pushed back on Ms. Manigault Newman’s claims and the new audio on Monday during an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” He could not go into specifics about why she was fired or how she was able to get a recording device in the room.

“What I can tell you is the thought of doing something like that to a fellow employee, not to mention the leader of the free world, is completely disgraceful,” he said.

Mr. Gidley denounced Ms. Manigault Newman by saying she was releasing the audio and accusing the president in her book just for money.

“Apparently telling the truth wasn’t paying her bills, so she decided to switch her story to try and make a quick buck and that I just can’t abide by,” Mr. Gidley said.

The deputy press secretary also refuted her claims that Mr. Kelly holds the real power in the White House.

“That is absolutely ludicrous and ridiculous,” Mr. Gidley said, “The president runs this country. He makes the decisions. He makes the policy.”

The president himself called his former aide a “lowlife” on Sunday when asked about her by pool reporters.

The released recordings come as Ms. Manigult Newman promotes her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.” The book comes out Tuesday. 

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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