Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman has said that she “will not be silenced” or “bullied” by Donald Trump after his campaign starting legal action alleging breach of a secrecy agreement amid a spat over a new book.
Mr Trump earlier called Ms Manigault-Newman a “dog” and a “lowlife” over the explosive new book, Unhinged, which makes several unflattering allegations against the president
The arbitration was filed with the America Arbitration Association in New York, and claims Ms Manigault-Newman’s book and media tour breached her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the campaign.
“Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. has filed an arbitration against Omarosa Manigault-Newman, with the American Arbitration Association in New York City, for breach of her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the Trump Campaign,” a Trump campaign official said in a statement.
Ms Manigault-Newman has made numerous television appearances and given a number of interviews in recent days promoting her book in which she reveals private conversations during her time on the campaign and in the White House. She has also released several audio recordings of conversations she had with Mr Trump and campaign aides.
On Tuesday evening, the former aide said that she would not be “intimidated” by the legal action from Mr Trump’s campaign.
Ms Manigault-Newman said she believes the action was intended to keep her from telling her story. “I’m not going to be bullied by Donald Trump,” she told the Associated Press
During an earlier appearance, Ms Manigault-Newman told MSNBC that she had been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and has been a regular target for Mr Trump.
“I have,” Ms Manigault-Newman said when asked if she had spoken to Mr Mueller’s team, which is considering potential ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
Mr Trump himself has indicated Ms Manigault-Newman had signed a non-disclosure agreement that now appears to be a point of contention between the two sides, tweeting on Monday about the supposed document.
“Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Since the start of Ms Manigault-Newman’s press tour, Mr Trump has repeatedly vented his frustration over the disclosures made in the new book, and has called his former White House aide a “crazed, crying lowlife” and a “dog”.
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out,” Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
Included in Ms Manigault-Newman’s book are allegations that a tapes exist showing Mr Trump repeatedly using the N-word and other racial epithets, and questions about the president’s mental fitness.
“He has absolutely no respect for women, for African Americans,” Ms Manigault-Newman said on Tuesday during the MSNBC interview.
Ms Manigault-Newman, in the run-up to the book’s publication, provided various news outlets with clips and tapes related to her time in the White House, leading to condemnation from Mr Trump and his associates in the White House.
One of those tapes, aired on Sunday, appeared to show Ms Manigault-Newman being fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly in the Situation Room. That tape raised concern by national security experts that Ms Manigault-Newman was able to carry a cell phone into the secure room at all, and what it could mean for White House security in general.
Another one of those tapes appears to show White House staff discussing the potential fallout from the president’s alleged use of the N-word, while Ms Manigault-Newman says she has heard a tape of Mr trump using the phrase. Mr trump has denied using the phrase.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday attacked Ms Manigault-Newman’s credibility, but stopped short of saying that Mr Trump had not been taped using that language. She provided a defence of Mr Trump’s character, saying that the president was working to help all Americans, and providing statistics that appear to show strong jobs gains for African Americans during Mr Trump’s presidency.
Ms Sanders said, “I haven’t been in every single room,” when asked if she can say with certainty that Trump has never used the N-word. Ms Sanders says she “can’t guarantee” Mr Trump has never used the word, but called Ms Manigault Newman’s claims “salacious and ridiculous”.
Ms Manigault-Newman had worked with Mr Trump before he began his political career, having previously appeared as a contestant on the president’s former reality TV show, The Apprentice.
The former White House staffer has said that, after she was fired from the White House, she was approached by Mr Trump’s 2020 campaign, who offered her a hefty salary but indicated that she would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement to receive that salary.
Ms Manigault-Newman has indicated she did not take that offer.
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