Omarosa Manigault Newman, formerly one of Trump's top staffers, has fallen out with the US President and says that a number of former aides are being paid not to dish the dirt on his administration.
Omarosa, as she is commonly known, is about to release her memoir, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House which contains a number of potentially damaging accusations.
Most explosively, the book will allege Trump is a “racist” and used the N-word racial slur while they were working on his reality television show The Apprentice. Omarosa says she did not hear Trump say this directly but multiple sources told her. Trump has vigorously denied the claim.
“I don’t have that word in my vocabulary and never have,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The White House said Omarosa Manigault Newman’s claim of President Trump’s racism is "false" and slammed her new memoir, calling her “a disgruntled former White House employee." https://t.co/xEDd06cK66 pic.twitter.com/Hbmx1WAwGC
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 10, 2018
Allegations of racism against Trump
Omarosa also believes there is a tape of Trump repeatedly using the racial epithet but she does not have access to it. She also alleges that Trump used racially abusive terms about George Conway, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband.
Kellyanne Conway has denied ever hearing Trump using a racial slur and in her two years working alongside the president and said she would not be working with him if he did.
Trump says Omarosa lied about his use of n-word https://t.co/WEKR2iQT2q
— POLITICO (@politico) August 14, 2018
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders also rubbished Omarosa’s claims of racism and said they were “sad”.
“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,” Huckabee Sanders said.
Omarosa says it took her a long time to acknowledge Trump’s true character. “It had finally sunk in that the person I’d thought I’d known so well for so long was actually a racist,” she reportedly wrote in her memoir.
Trump tweets on ‘wacky Omarosa’
He also said the media had little interest in Omarosa until she started being critical of him. He termed himself “a true Champion of Civil Rights” and ended the pair of tweets on the issue by branding Omarosa’s comments as “Fake news!”
….such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired. Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
Omarosa also released a tape, since played on NBC, of a phone call with Trump which apparently has him reacting with surprise to the news she had been fired from her communications role at the White House.
“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” she replies.
“No… Nobody even told me about it,” the voice, purportedly Trump, replies. “You know they run a big operation but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Damn it. I don’t love you leaving at all.”
Former Trump adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman has released what she says is a tape of a phone call from the US president after her dismissal last year https://t.co/dmVMndmwvA
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 14, 2018
While it apparently shows Trump unaware of what is going on in his administration, BBC White House Reporter Tara McKelvey has described the contents of the tape as “embarrassing” but not ultimately very damaging for his reputation as their release “hasn’t exposed any serious wrongdoing”.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani questioned the legality of Omarosa covertly taping Trump.
Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018
Trump White House staffers signed confidentiality agreements
In an earlier tweet on 13 August, Trump tackled the issue of Omarosa’s allegations from a different angle, writing: “Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!”
The use of non-disclosure agreements for White House staffers has been described as another break from standard governmental practice.
ABC News (US) has determined the White House has continued to pay a number of former staffers, including two with access to sensitive information, after they left the Trump administration. It is not clear if these payments are for their silence or have been made for another reason.
Neither Trump nor the White House has directly addressed her claims that former aides are paid in return for not revealing any damaging details from their time in the president’s administration, but Sean Spicer, former White House Spokesperson, has said Omarosa is making false claims solely to promote her book.