WASHINGTON — White House officials are reportedly “terrified” of what Omarosa Manigault Newman has in store next for the promotional tour for her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”
He denies that claim, but it has again revived questions of whether such a recording actually exists, and on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she cannot guarantee that such audio will never surface.
In the book, Manigault Newman identifies Trump as her mentor and someone who had a huge role in shaping her public fame and persona, yet who, as the book title suggests, is now suffering a mental decline and is hugely unfit to occupy the Oval Office.
Like Trump, though, Manigault Newman has a penchant for generating an extra amount of publicity for her own story — something we’ve seen this week as networks have obtained tapes she secretly recorded with White House figures. On MSNBC on Tuesday, she told Katy Tur that Trump knew of hacked Democratic National Committee emails before they were released in 2016, but offered no proof to back it up.
Trump, his White House team, and the Republican National Committee are blasting Manigault Newman. Trump has called her uncredible and a “dog.” Sanders suggested that the White House response was motivated by the fact that the media is giving her so much exposure. As Manigault Newman was just starting her tour, Sanders put out a statement saying that the book was “riddled with lies and false accusations.”
“It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”
Manigault Newman writes in her book that “no doubt, you’ve come here with prejudice about who you think I am. But all I’m asking is that you hear me out.”
Some of her claims are salacious. Some are trivial. Some are hard to determine if she has proof to back them up via other recorded conversations or documentary evidence. A number are getting pushback from the White House.
Here’s a glimpse:
Trump used the n-word. In the book, Manigault Newman relays the details of an October 2016, campaign conference call in which press staffers discuss the potential fallout if a Trump tape is released in which he uses the racial epithet.
In the book, Manigault Newman claims that Katrina Pierson, a campaign spokesman, was on the conference call and said, “Someone she knew, who knew political strategist Frank Luntz, told her that Luntz had heard it.” Luntz has called the claim “flat-out false” and questioned why Manigault Newman didn’t call him to try to verify the claim.
“Katrina cursed and said, ‘He said it.'” Manigault Newman writes.
On Tuesday, CBS News ran a recording of a portion of that conference call. On CNN, Pierson claimed that Manigault Newman took “two different audios” that were “conflated into one story.” She said it was “false” that she ever claimed that Trump said the n-word, and that the audio excerpts provided to CBS News did not include “hours upon hours” of Manigault Newman talking about the alleged Trump tape.
Trump’s daughter-in-law tried to buy her silence. After Manigault Newman was fired, she said she was contacted by Trump’s daughter in law, Lara Trump, with an offer to come work for the Trump 2020 campaign at a salary of $15,000 per month. In exchange, she was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
The Washington Post reviewed the agreement and reported that it included a non-disparagement clause about Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and their families.
Lara Trump told Fox News this week that Manigault Newman wasted an “incredible opportunity” to make a difference at the White House and was showing her “true colors.”
Trump questioned why Harriet Tubman’s “face” should be on the $20 bill. In the “long horrible month” after the Charlottesville riots, Manigault Newman noted that secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin was non-committal when it came to replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, as had been proposed by the Obama administration.
“I know Trump wanted to dismantle Obama’s legacy, but this, too?” Manigault Newman writes. “I quickly wrote a decision memo about the matter and gave it to Trump. While flipping through the folder, he came to the picture of Tubman, the woman who personally brought more than three hundred slaves to freedom, risking her own life every time, and said to me, ‘You want to put that face on the twenty-dollar bill?'”
In an interview with “Today” in 2016, Trump said he thought Tubman was “fantastic,” but called the idea of replacing Jackson “pure political correctness.” “I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we can come up with another denomination,” he said.
Mike Pence “was too perfect to be genuine.” Manigault Newman writes that after spending time with the vice president, “The first thing I noticed was that people on his staff kept slipping up and calling him president — accidentally sometimes.” She said that he “asked him explicitly if he had any ambitions for the highest office after Donald completed his two terms. Pence said, ‘two terms? You think two terms? That’s good, I like the way you think, Omarosa. I’m here to serve the president. I’m only loyal to the president.'”
“It seemed obvious that he was too perfect to be genuine. His and Trump’s personalities and worldviews were diametrically opposed,” she writes. “And yet, Pence agreed with everything Trump said or did. In real life, no one beams worshipfully at you all the time like that. If someone looked at you that way, you’d be disturbed and think about a restraining order.”
A spokeswoman for Pence did not immediately comment.
Trump called secretary of education Betsy DeVos “ditzy DeVos.” Manigault Newman describes several incidents she had with secretary of education Betsy DeVos, with whom she worked on education issues and in outreach to historically black colleges and universities.
She writes that she went with DeVos on a trip to Florida, where the education secretary gave a speech at Bethune-Cookman University and was booed. She claims that afterward, DeVos said that the speech went “great,” but then said of the booing students, “They don’t have the capacity to understand what we’re trying to accomplish.” Manigault Newman writes that she took that to mean that “all these black students were too stupid” to comprehend was DeVos was trying to do.
She also claims that the next day, she was supposed to go with DeVos to an event, but DeVos didn’t show at the hotel. DeVos, she said, eventually called her and told her to tale an Uber.
“We’d been booed by the entire auditorium. People were angry. There were protesters. I’d been getting death threats daily. And she’d left me completely alone with no security?” Manigault Newman writes.
She said she told Trump about the incident and “he shook his head in disgust.”
“He said, ‘She is Ditzy DeVos, what do you expect? In a very short period of time, I will get rid of her. Believe me, believe me.'”
Manigault Newman claims that DeVos plans to “replace public education with for-profit schools.”
Liz Hill, the education department’s press secretary, said in a statement, “This disgraced former White House employee is peddling lies for profit. The book is a joke as are the false claims she’s making about Secretary DeVos.”
Trump is militant about his tanning bed. Manigault Newman writes that, in addition to a diet of Diet Cokes and fast food, Trump “allegedly” tans in the morning in a tanning bed in the personal quarters. She said she heard that the dismissal of the chief White House usher Angella Reid had something to do with how she handled the procurement of the bed. Manigault Newman writes that she had concerns that his consumption of Diet Cokes could be affecting Trump’s mental health, including his memory, and once tried to slip him an article on on recent research of the topic.
Trump got Omarosa to drop legal action against National Enquirer’s parent company. After her brother’s murder in 2011, Manigault Newman writes that National Enquirer sent a reporter, posing as a mourner, to the funeral. The Enquirer took portions of her eulogy and branded it an “exclusive” interview, she writes, and she pursued legal action against American Media, the Enquirer’s parent company.
Manigault Newman claims that Trump, a friend of American Media’s David Pecker, called her to broker a settlement.
“It came out that Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, had called Donald Trump and said, ‘Isn’t Omarosa one of your mentees? Can you tell her to drop this lawsuit?'” she writes. “As a personal favor to Pecker, Donald agreed to call me and talk me out of the lawsuit, but I was so angry they’d portrayed me as someone who’d seek publicity over my dead brother’s body that I was reluctant to drop it.”
She took the deal, in which she got a job with AMI as West Coast editor. She used the story to point out the relationship between Trump and Pecker, and noted that AMI also made a deal with Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump. AMI bought her life rights but never published a story, according to a lawsuit she filed this year.
A spokesman for AMI did not immediately return a request for comment.
On the set of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Trump engaged in “vile” exchange with Gene Simmons in front of Trump’s daughter Ivanka. Manigault Newman claims that during one long break on the set of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Gene Simmons and Trump “engaged in language so profane, it would have raised eyebrows in prison.” It took place in front of Ivanka Trump.
Simmons, she writes, was “leering openly at her breasts.”
“He said, ‘She’s a very, very sexy, desirable young woman who I’m looking forward to getting to know much better, if you know what I mean, with all due respect.'” Trump “egged him on,” Manigault Newman writes, and Ivanka “groaned dismissively and tried to get them to change subjects.”
“Everyone else in the room was shocked, not by Gene’s language (we knew he was a disgusting pig), but by Donald’s obvious delight in hearing it. He had complete control of the boardroom. He could have shut it down at any point. But he didn’t,” Manigault Newman writes.