Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said Sunday she recorded her own firing by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — an explosive twist in a once-loyal employee’s escalating feud with President Trump, who mentored her on reality television but now considers her a “low life.”

Ms. Manigault Newman told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which aired a bit of the tape, that she had no choice but to record her interactions in the heavily secured Situation Room to protect her reputation, as rumors about her behavior swirled.

“If I didn’t have these recordings, no one in America would believe me,” she told host Chuck Todd, daring the White House to release more detail on the “integrity violations” that led to her dismissal.

In the tape, a man identified as Mr. Kelly discusses a way for Ms. Manigault Newman to have a “friendly departure” from the White House without any “type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”

Ms. Manigault Newman, who staunchly defended President Trump until her firing, said she took that as a threat.

For its part, the White House said Ms. Manigault Newman is spreading lies to drum up sales of her book, “Unhinged,” which claims Mr. Trump used racial slurs.

The White House pushed back on those claims Sunday.

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“I’ve worked alongside of him for over two straight years now without interruption. I have never once heard him say that about anyone and I never heard Omarosa complain that she had heard the president say it about anyone either when she was there,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told “Fox News Sunday.”

One day earlier, Mr. Trump, at his golf club in New Jersey, was asked if he felt betrayed by Ms. Manigault Newman.

“She’s a low life,” he responded.

“The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security — and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Others in the GOP echoed concerns about the ethics of recording in the Situation Room, which is considered a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, where recording devices are prohibited.

“Who in their right mind thinks it’s appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Twitter.

In the tape, Ms. Manigault Newman seems confused about the premise for her ousting, which Mr. Kelly described as “integrity violations,” and demands to know whether Mr. Trump is on board with the firing.

Ms. Manigault Newman said she had no regrets about the tape, because she wanted to disprove rumors she was fired for trying to charge into the White House residence.

“People would still think that I was trying to set off alarms,” she said.

Ms. Manigault Newman was ousted from her post at the White House in December after Mr. Kelly took over West Wing operations.

Since then, Ms. Manigault Newman — who once said every Trump critic would have to “bow down” to the president — has slammed Mr. Trump, even calling him a racist.

On Sunday, she claimed she has heard a tape of the president using the N-word while working on “The Apprentice,” the reality show where she competed and Mr. Trump hosted.

“I have heard for two years that it existed and once I heard it for myself, it was confirmed what I feared the most,” she told NBC. “That Donald Trump is a con and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities but when he talks that way, the way he did on this tape, it confirmed that he is truly a racist.”

Ms. Conway said the country’s economic growth under Mr. Trump has benefited people of color and painted Ms. Manigault Newman as a disgruntled former employee.

“All that’s changed was this book deal and her being fired,” she said. “So I think [Mr. Trump] probably feels very betrayed and I feel very disappointed because I always had a very good working relationship with Omarosa.”

Ms. Manigault Newman said she felt duplicitous working in the White House because, she claimed, Mr. Trump has “mentally declined” and is unable to process “complex information.”

“I was complicit with this White House deceiving this nation,” she said.

© Copyright (c) 2018 News World Communications, Inc.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

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