Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former “Apprentice” contestant who became a White House aide, has provided an audio recording that she says is from 2017 and on which President Donald Trump expresses surprise that she’d been fired from his administration.
The tape, which was played exclusively Monday on “Today,” appears to show Trump having no idea that Newman had been dismissed by his Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Newman responds, “General Kelly—General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave.”
“No…I, I, Nobody even told me about it,” Trump replies.
Newman then says, “Wow,” before Trump reiterates his shock.
NBC News does not know what was said before or after that exchange. The White House had no comment when asked about the exchange between Trump and Newman.
In a contentious interview on “Today,” after the audio recording was played, Newman accused Trump of lying to the American people and said he didn’t know what was going on within his own administration.
“He doesn’t even know what’s happening in his White House,” Newman said. “General Kelly, John Kelly is running this White House and Donald Trump has no clue what’s going on.”
Newman said she had known Trump “to be an entertainer — but I never thought he’d lie to the country.”
Newman’s disclosure of the recording came just one day after she told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” in an exclusive interview, that she has personally heard a tape of Trump using the N-word during filming for NBC’s “The Apprentice” — a revelation she says “confirmed that he is truly a racist.” Newman made the charge days before the release on Tuesday of her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.” In the book, Newman describes hearing about the tape but not hearing it herself. She said Sunday that she personally listened to it after her book had gone to press.
On Monday, she said there were “multiple tapes” but that the one she had described previously was an audio tape that was “about three minutes” long.
On it, Trump “was talking about some African-Americans in the production during the course of ‘The Apprentice.'”
Newman also alleged that the existence of the tape was known by top campaign aides back in 2016 and that a campaign spokesperson had said on a campaign conference call, “I have heard from a credible source that yes, he said it.”
Newman said Sunday she had “heard for two years that it existed, and once I heard it for myself, it was confirmed, what I feared the most: That Donald Trump is a con and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities.”
Newman also provided “Meet the Press” with an audio recording she said was made in 2017 when Kelly fired her. In it, Kelly argued that there have been “significant integrity issues” that prompted him to fire her. She claimed the recording was made when Kelly took her into the Situation Room, a specially secure room where the president and his top aides address major national security crises, and where personal cell phones are not allowed.
NBC News and other outlets reported at the time that Newman had been escorted out of the White House after she tried to enter the presidential residence in response to hearing she’d been fired.
The White House has slammed Newman in recent days as a “disgruntled” former employee.
“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,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday. “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,” she added.
On Saturday, Trump blasted Newman as a “lowlife” in response to questions from reporters about her claims.