Former White House aide and reality-TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman has released what she claims is a secret recording she made of chief of staff John Kelly at the time of her firing in the White House Situation Room.
The recording, which aired on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Aug. 12, reveals Kelly discussing with Newman her “integrity violations” in her roles as director for the White House Office of the Public Liaison and assistant to the president. The White House announced in December last year that Newman was leaving her post.
“We’re going to talk to you about leaving the White House,” Kelly tells Newman in the recording. “It’s come to my attention over the last few months that there’s been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues.”
Later, Kelly is heard saying again, “This has to do with some pretty serious integrity violations.”
“I think it’s important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be—you know, you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation,” Kelly continued, “without any type of difficulty in the future, relative to your reputation.”
Newman told NBC’s Chuck Todd that Kelly’s comments to her were “a threat.”
She said she has “no regret” over her recording and if she hadn’t made it, “people would still believe the false, incredible story that I was running around the White House … that I tried to charge the residence of the White House.”
At an event on Aug. 11, President Donald Trump told reporters “she’s a lowlife,” when asked about Newman, who first rose to prominence on “The Apprentice” series.
Many have since criticized Newman for the recording, citing it as a threat to national security.
“Um, are not staff supposed to check all electronic devices in a secure repository before entering the Situation Room?” David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, wrote in a tweet on Aug. 12.
“If Omarosa carried for example a cellphone into the Situation Room, then not only did she record conversations there, but so potentially has any country or criminal organization that thought to hack her phone.”
Former White House aide Marc Short said in an interview on ABC Sunday that everyone has to give up their phone when entering the room.
“If she actually did that, that’s quite an affront,” Short said. “But I mean, the reality is the media ridiculed and mocked Omarosa for the full year-plus that she was in the White House. And now, she writes a book, and all of a sudden, she’s like an oracle.”
Her book, “Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House,” has a number of unverified claims, including one that Trump is racist. But Frank Luntz, a political consultant who is reportedly mentioned in Newman’s book, called her claims a complete lie.
“I’m in @Omarosa’s book on page 149,” he wrote on Twitter on Aug. 10. “She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word. Not only is this flat-out false (I’ve never heard such a thing), but Omarosa didn’t even make an effort to call or email me to verify.”