President Donald Trump lashed out at fired White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Monday evening as he declared for the first time that there are no tapes of him using a racial slur on the set of “The Apprentice” reality TV show.
He repeated an insult that Manigault Newman is “wacky” in a tweet, this time adding that she is “deranged.” Yet he also pointed out the many “wonderful and powerful things” the former “Apprentice” contestant “said about me,” including calling him a “true Champion of civil rights.”
The tweet stream appeared after Manigault Newman told “Hardball” host Chris Matthews on MSNBC on Monday night that a former member of the “Apprentice” production might leak an audio tape of Trump purportedly using the slur sometime before the November elections.
She said the tape may be used for “politically motivated things” — but offered no other details.
The person with the tape “used to be a part of the production staff for ‘The Apprentice,’” she explained, “and took it on themselves to actually document this so that they could expose him [Trump] for the racist that he is.”
When Matthews asked Manigault Newman if the individual is a Democrat, she said she was uncertain of the political affiliation.
HuffPost reported Monday that Manigault Newman told at least three of Trump’s aides that former “Apprentice” contestant Troy McClain played a tape for her in the White House in which the president is heard using a racial slur on the set of the reality show he starred in. Manigault Newman told one staffer that the tape was the reason she left her job as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, sources said. McClain denied he played a tape for her.
Manigault Newman also told Matthews that if special counsel Robert Mueller calls her “again, anything I have I’ll share.” Mueller is leading the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
She claims she heard audio of Trump using the racial slur after writing her new book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House. But she told Matthews she had already learned of such a tape during the presidential campaign.
“I didn’t discover it until the fall of the campaign in 2016, when a producer, Bill Pruitt, came out and he tweeted that Donald Trump had said some very horrible things,” she told Matthews. “Racist things and some things about Jewish people.”
She claimed the campaign had a conference call about it.
“My first reaction to it was this can’t be true. This is somebody I’ve known since 2003,” Manigault Newman said.
Trump had “always been kind to me, as I said repeatedly in dozens and dozens of interviews,” she continued. “So, when I heard [about the tape], my first instinct was to protect him and not to dive deeper because I just dismissed it as untrue.”
The latest information from sources that she heard the tape while working in the White House would contradict both her book — in which she says she only heard about the tape — and her latest account that she actually listened to the tape for the first time after the book was finished.
Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster and political consultant, has tweeted that Unhinged claims she heard Trump use the word, an assertion he calls “flat-out false.”
The president has now bashed Manigault Newman as a “lowlife,” a “loser,” “vicious,” “wacky,” “not very smart” and “deranged. He’s been criticized for hiring her to work in the White House if that was his assessment of her.
Manigault Newman has released her own audio tapes of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her, and one of Trump appearing to be surprised she had been fired. She told Matthews there are “plenty” of others.