Omarosa Manigault releases new Trump audio tape and says president does ‘not know what’s going on in White House’

Her new book 'Unhinged' is set to hit shelves on 14 August 

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Monday 13 August 2018 18:39 BST
Trump claims he doesn't know about Omarosa's firing in leaked audio of purported phone call between President and former WH comms director

Former aide to Donald Trump, Omarosa Manigault-Newman has said her new book will be unveiling “a lot of very corrupt things happening in the White House” as she released a new audio tape of an apparent conversation with the president, which she said shows Mr Trump may not be aware of what is going on in his own office.

Ms Newman, known as Omarosa after her infamous appearance on Mr Trump’s NBC reality television show The Apprentice in 2004, said her “Unhinged” book will “blow the whistle” on how senior staff allegedly operates.

She said on the Today show, saying Mr Trump possibly “not know[ing] what’s happening” in the White House “should be alarming to any American” as she revealed an audio recording of a phone call between she and Mr Trump in the wake of her December 2017 sacking from her White House post as liaison to the African-American community, which appeared to show the president being unaware of her removal.

“General Kelly—General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Ms Newman told the president.

“No…I, I, Nobody even told me about it,” Mr Trump can be heard saying.

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

Audio recording of White House chief of staff John Kelly firing former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman

On the programme, Ms Newman questioned the president’s sincerity because “there is complete organisation between the two of them,” referring to Mr Kelly and Mr Trump.

Mr Trump responded to the interview via a string of tweets and called Ms Newman “wacky Omarosa” just days after he called her a “lowlife” in other public comments.

He claimed Ms Newman “begged” for a job at the White House but that people there “hate her. She was vicious, but not smart”.

He also claimed he “would rarely see her” but had heard she missed meetings and treated staffers badly. "I told [Mr Kelly] to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!" Mr Trump wrote, adding his usual "fake news" insult.

Ms Newman said on Today the president is being “puppeted” by Mr Kelly and others.

"Is General Kelly running this country or is the president running this country," Ms Newman wondered during what appeared to be a contentious interview, not uncommon for the longtime political operative.

When pressed if she thought Mr Trump lied often, she replied, simply: "Absolutely".

The new audio comes just a day after Ms Newman's appearance on NBC's Meet the Press programme during which she claimed to have heard a tape of Mr Trump using the n-word, adding the audio "confirmed that he is truly a racist."

She had also released audio of Mr Kelly she made while sitting with him in the White House situation room, a secure space where military and intelligence community leaders meet with the president to discuss major security incidents. No mobiles are allowed in the room.

In that tape, Mr Kelly claimed there had been "significant integrity issues" which led him to sack her.

Ms Newman's claims come after one of the most tumultuous first year's of any president in terms of internal strife. Mr Trump has sacked or had resign former national security advisor Mike Flynn, chief of staff Reince Priebus who was seen as the only senior staffer with significant Washington politics experience and ties to the establishment wing of the Republican party, controversial press secretary Sean Spicer, short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci, advisor Steve Bannon, and several lower-level staffers and diplomats.

Some experts have said White House operations chaos is due to the lack of experience among senior staff and some have pointed to Mr Trump's need to micromanage as he had with his company. In any case, some of the dust has appeared to settle in the last eight months since Ms Newman's departure, at least in terms of staff changes.

Her book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House is slated for release on 14 August.

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