Donald Trump, Omarosa

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Trump Calls Omarosa A 'Dog' As Ex-Adviser Releases New Recording

August 14, 2018 - 10:52 am
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WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/AP) -- President Donald Trump escalated his messy clash with former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday, referring to the longtime colleague, who had been the top African-American in his White House, as "that dog!"

Trump tweeted a barrage of insults Tuesday morning as Manigault Newman continued promoting her White House tell-all and releasing secret audio recordings. Her book paints a damning picture of Trump, including her claim that he used racial slurs on the set of his reality show "The Apprentice."

"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out," Trump said. "Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!" John Kelly is White House chief of staff.

While Trump trades in insults on a near daily basis, deeming Manigault Newman a "dog" was a stunning move in a row that touched on several sensitive issues in Trump's White House, including a lack of racial diversity among senior officials, security concerns — Manigault Newman taped her firing in the White House Situation Room — and extraordinary measures such as non-disclosure agreements to keep ex-employees quiet.

Trump's campaign has also filed an arbitration action against Manigault Newman alleging breach of a secrecy agreement. A campaign aide tells The Associated Press that it is filing the claim with the America Arbitration Association in New York, claiming her explosive new book and media tour breached her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the campaign. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. 

 “The complaint is with the American Arbitration Association. They have filed it in New York, and it alleges that Omarosa violated a nondisclosure agreement that she signed during the campaign back in 2016.

“When you have a nondisclosure agreement, you are not allowed to speak about anything that happened during the campaign. However, once she is in the White House, her lawyers can certainly argue that she can say anything about what happened during her time in the White House itself; that they will say there’s a bright line of demarcation between what happened before and what happened after the election,” CBS News Legal Analyst Rikki Klieman told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Tuesday.

But one of the incidents Manigault Newman addressed Tuesday – that she has a tape of Trump using the N-word as a candidate – actually does reference something that happened during the campaign.

“That is the one disclosure that she has made that is blatantly during the campaign. The other disclosures happened at the White House. She has not signed any nondisclosure agreement about her time there, and frankly, a nondisclosure agreement for a White House employee would likely be unenforceable because of the First Amendment,” Klieman said.

Trump has pushed back against Manigault Newman's claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using the N-word. He tweeted that he had received a call from the producer of "The Apprentice" assuring him "there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa."

Trump insisted, "I don't have that word in my vocabulary, and never have." He said Manigault Newman had called him "a true Champion of Civil Rights" until she was fired.

Manigault Newman, the former White House liaison to black voters, writes in her new memoir that she'd heard such tapes existed. She said Sunday that she had listened to one after the book closed.

Related: What To Know About Latest White House Tapes And Why They Matter

On Tuesday, Manigault Newman released another audio recording to CBS News that she said showed campaign workers discussing an alleged recording of Trump using the racial slur. The White House and the campaign did not immediately respond to questions.

In the latest audio recording, campaign aide Lynne Patton can be heard on the phone with Manigault Newman in the month before the election, discussing rumors that then-candidate Trump is heard on a tape saying the N-word. Patton says that she brought it up with the candidate on his plane.

"He goes, how do you think I should handle it and I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you are talking about. And he said, well, why don't you just go ahead and put it to bed," Patton says.

Katrina Pierson, an adviser to Trump's re-election campaign who served as a spokeswoman for his 2016 campaign, is then allegedly heard saying, "He said. No, he said it. He is embarrassed by it."

"That was Katrina Pierson essentially saying ah because he's saying we should address this in a certain way he must have said it. And remember also the context, this is right around the time that the Access Hollywood tape came out. The campaign was very nervous that there were more skeletons and they must've just been discussing the likelihood that he said it," CBS News correspondent Steven Portnoy told WCBS 880.

Pierson has said she never heard Trump use this type of language and said on Fox that the only person she heard talking about a tape was Manigault Newman.

"The only person who has come forward and says that they've actually heard this tape is Omarosa herself and there's some lack of clarity as to when it is that she heard it, she actually writes in the book that she didn't hear and is now saying in her interviews that since she finished writing the book she has heard it," Portnoy told said.

Patton and Pierson issued a joint statement Tuesday morning saying, "No one ever denied the existence of conversations about a reported 'Apprentice' tape. Of course there were multiple discussions about it," CBS News reported.

Asked if the book can be backed up by email or recordings, Manigault Newman said on CBS that every quote in the book "can be verified, corroborated and it's well documented," suggesting she may have more information to release.

The dispute has been building for days as Manigault Newman promotes her memoir "Unhinged," which comes out officially Tuesday.

"Essentially Omarosa is saying, look I recorded my colleagues because in Trump world everyone lies so I'm just covering my own behind as they challenge my credibility. Here's the proof of what I write about in my book, is essentially paraphrasing what Omarosa says," Portnoy said.

In a series of interviews, Manigault Newman has also revealed two audio recordings from her time at the White House, including portions of a recording of her firing by Kelly, which she says occurred in the high-security Situation Room, and a phone call with Trump after she was fired.

Manigault Newman says she has more recordings. Asked on MSNBC's "Hardball" if special counsel Robert Mueller — investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia — would be interested in any of them, she said, "If his office calls again, anything they want, I'll share."

Trump officials and a number of outside critics denounced the recordings as a serious breach of ethics and security — and White House aides worried about what else Manigault Newman may have captured in the West Wing.

The tape recording appears to show Trump expressing surprise about her firing, saying "nobody even told me about it." But Manigault Newman said he "probably instructed General Kelly to do it."

On Twitter, Trump declared Monday that she had been "fired for the last time," a reference to her appearances on his reality TV show. He said Kelly had called her a "loser & nothing but problems," but he himself had tried to save her job — because he liked her public comments about him.

"I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!" Trump tweeted.

Responding on NBC, Manigault Newman said, "I think it's sad that with all the things that's going on in the country that he would take time out to insult me and to insult my intelligence."

She added, "This is his pattern with African-Americans."

First lady Melania Trump, meanwhile, is disappointed that Manigault Newman "is lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way, especially after all the opportunities given to her by the President," said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.

Manigault Newman's exit does highlight the lack of diversity among Trump's top aides. She was the highest-ranking African-American on the White House staff. She said on NBC that in her absence "they're making decisions about us without us."

Trump's battle with Omarosa underscores the racial tensions that have defined his presidency. He notably blamed "both sides" for violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, a year ago and has questioned the intelligence of other prominent black figures including California Rep. Maxine Waters, basketball star LeBron James and TV journalist Don Lemon. He also has targeted black NFL players for kneeling in social protest during the national anthem.

Manigault Newman also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to accept a "senior position" on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement.

The offer raises fresh question about the ways that White House aides are being offered safe landing spots after they leave. For example, Trump's former personal aide John McEntee, who was removed from his job in April, went to the campaign.

Trump tweeted Monday that Manigault Newman has a "fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!"

It was not clear exactly what he was referring to. White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday on ABC that there are "confidentiality agreements" in the West Wing. And Trump's campaign said that in the 2016 race she "signed the exact same NDA that everyone else on the campaign signed, which is still enforceable."

Klieman explained that nondisclosure agreements were generally taken to be airtight before the Stormy Daniels case changed everything.

“The whole idea of an NDA was that if you broke it, you suffered a consequence – that is, you were taken into arbitration and you were ordered to pay damages – in many cases, substantial damages, because lots of times, there’s what we call a liquidated damage position, which specifies that every time you open your mouth and disclose something you’re not supposed to disclose, that you have to pay the piper, as they say,” she said. “Stormy Daniels has appeared to have gotten away with it so far, going blasting through her nondisclosure agreements – probably the most public nondisclosure agreement of all time.”

Meanwhile, Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on "Fox and Friends" Monday that Manigault Newman may have broken the law by recording private conversations inside the White House.

"She's certainly violating national security regulations, which I think have the force of law," Giuliani said.

But experts in national security and clearance law said that, while she seriously violated rules — and would likely be barred from ever being granted a security clearance — she probably didn't break any law unless the conversations she recorded were classified.

In the recording with Kelly, which Manigault Newman quotes extensively in her new book, Kelly can be heard saying that he wants to talk with her about leaving the White House.

"It's come to my attention over the last few months that there's been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues related to you," Kelly is heard saying, before adding that if she makes it a "friendly departure" then she can "go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation."

Manigault Newman said she viewed the conversation as a "threat" and defended her decision to covertly record it and other White House conversations, saying otherwise "no one" would believe her.