President Donald Trump has lambasted former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman after she accused him of racism in her recent book, and administration officials suggest she may be in legal jeopardy.
“Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will,” Trump said in an Aug. 13 tweet. “She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok.”
Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018
Manigault Newman worked with Trump on his reality television show, “The Apprentice.” She joined his presidential campaign as director of African-American Outreach and landed a job in his administration as his assistant and communications director for the Office of Public Liaison.
She was fired in December.
“People in the White House hated her,” Trump wrote. “She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work.”
…really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018
The watershed moment came, it appears, in the months after Trump appointed Gen. John Kelly as his chief of staff.
“When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems,” Trump said in a tweet. “I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!”
After leaving the White House, Manigault Newman was “downhearted” because Trump “ceased all correspondences with her,” an unnamed “insider” source told The Daily Mail.
She used her TV appearances to hype up her story of working for Trump, fishing for the best publishing deal, the source said.
“When I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear,” she told ABC News in December.
She denied that she was fired.
“I wanted to make the one year mark. That was one of the goals that I set out to and then get back to my life,” she said.
But later in the interview, she went further, saying she resigned on her own because of her objections to the Trump administration.
“John Kelly and I had a very straightforward discussion about concerns that I had, issues that I raised. And as a result, I resigned,” she said.
Back then, she wouldn’t go as far as questioning Trump’s character when it came to his attitude toward different races. She said “he tried in his own way” to bring Americans together.
That was about to change.
In February, she appeared on CBS’s reality show, “Celebrity Big Brother,” where she made ominous claims about the Trump administration, such as “it’s bad” and “we’re not OK.”
“She knew that Celebrity Big Brother might be make-or-break for her landing a book deal and she maximized that moment,” the insider source told The Daily Mail.
In July, the newspaper reported that Manigault Newman landed a seven-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster, a subsidiary of CBS.
Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive of the publisher, has donated nearly $15,000 to Democratic candidates since 1999, including $2,300 to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run and $5,175 to her 2016 bid. In fact, Reidy donated to Clinton over the lawful limit in 2016 and had to have part of her donations refunded.
Based on OpenSecrets.org data, Reidy gave the money to the Democratic National Committee instead.
Simon & Schuster published all seven of Clinton’s books. In 2014, there was “lots of finger-pointing going on at Simon & Schuster,” a source told Page Six, after the publisher reportedly paid Clinton $14 million in advance for her memoir, which sold 85,000 in its first week, reported The New York Times, but slowed to sell a disappointing 300,000 copies over the next 21 months, according to Time magazine. Clinton’s next book, “Stronger Together,” was an even harder flop, only selling about 2,900 copies in its first week, NYT reported.
Reidy now placed her bets on Manigault Newman, who called Trump “a racist, a bigot, and a misogynist” in her book and accused him of using a racial slur during the production of “The Apprentice,” The Guardian reported.
Political consultant Frank Luntz said Manigault Newman mentioned him as one of the sources of the racial slur claim—an attribution he denied.
“She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word,” he said in an Aug. 10 tweet. “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. Very shoddy work.”
Manigault Newman also accused Trump of using racial slurs against George Conway, who is half Filipino. He is the husband of Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway.
George Conway, a vocal Trump critic on Twitter, dismissed this particular claim.
“The allegation is not credible, and indeed is ridiculous, particularly in light of the timing of her departure from the White House—December 12, 2017,” he said in an Aug. 10 tweet. “It’s absurd all around.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the claims on Aug. 10.
“Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations,” she said in a statement.
“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.”
On Aug. 12, NBC News and other media aired a tape that Manigault Newman said she secretly made of Kelly firing her in December. On the tape, Kelly said he’s been made aware of “significant integrity issues” about her, including issues that made her “open to some legal action.” He offered her a “friendly departure,” where she could resign to avoid damage to her reputation.
She refused, and Kelly was forced to fire her, unnamed White House aides told Politico.
Manigault Newman said she talked to Kelly in the Situation Room, a highly secured room in the White House, where personal devices aren’t allowed.
“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,” Sanders said in a Aug. 12 statement.
In addition, Manigault Newman may have broken a nondisclosure agreement. Everyone in the West Wing must sign one, Kellyanne Conway said on Aug. 12.
Trump said in an Aug. 13 tweet that Manigault Newman indeed signed such an agreement.
In another tweet, Trump said he chided Manigault Newman to counter “fake news,” the moniker he uses for a majority of the legacy media outlets.
“While I know it’s ‘not presidential’ to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!” he said.
Correction: The article was updated to clarify Kellyanne Conway’s Aug. 12 statement.