Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday revealed what she said was a secret recording of several of President Donald Trump’s campaign aides discussing how to handle potential fallout if an alleged video of Trump using a racial slur surfaced.
Manigault Newman, promoting her new book Unhinged, released the tape to CBS News. She identified the three Trump campaign aides as Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for the campaign; Lynne Patton, an assistant to Trump’s son Eric; and Jason Miller, chief spokesman for the campaign.
″I am trying to find out at least what context it was used in to help us maybe try to figure out a way to spin it,” Pierson can be heard saying in the recording of the 2016 conversation.
Pierson told Fox News on Sunday that Manigault Newman was the first member of the Trump campaign to discuss a so-called “Apprentice” tape of Trump allegedly using a slur on the set of the reality show he starred in. Pierson said neither Miller nor Patton has any “idea what she’s talking about.”
Manigault Newman said she did not personally hear the recording of Trump using the slur until after she finished writing Unhinged.
“I had an opportunity to fly out to California, and the person allowed me to hear it,” she told CBS News. “Had I heard it while working in the White House, I would have left immediately.”
This is the third secret recording Managault Newman has released in the days ahead of her book’s Tuesday publication. On Sunday, she released a tape of White House chief of staff John Kelly firing her, and on Monday she disclosed a recording of a phone call with Trump appearing to be surprised she had been fired.
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 the racial slur on the show’s set.
Manigault Newman told one staffer that the recording 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.
Trump has vigorously denied the existence of any such recording. He said on Twitter Monday that “The Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett had called him to say there were “NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”
When asked by CBS’ Gayle King why she secretly recorded the conversation with Trump’s campaign aides, Manigault Newman responded: “Because the truth matters.”
“If I didn’t have this tape, you all would probably be wondering if in fact they did talk about it,” she said. She added that anything in quotes in her book can be “verified, corroborated and is well-documented.”
King told Manigault Newman that her slow release of tapes has the feel of “blackmail.”
“I’m not asking for anything,” Manigault Newman responded. ” I’m telling my story in Unhinged.”
Minutes after Manigault Newman appeared on “CBS This Morning,” Trump savaged her on Twitter, praising Kelly for “quickly firing that dog,” and calling her a “crazed, crying lowlife.” It was the latest in a series of presidential tweets attacking the former reality TV contestant that began early Monday.
Manigault Newman initially said she resigned her White House job in December, though she later admitted she was fired. She met Trump in 2004 on the set of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” in which she appeared as a contestant for three seasons.
Manigault Newman on Tuesday also denied that she was ever romantically involved with Trump.
“That’s a charge that’s launched against successful women to kind of degrade them and undermine their success,” she told CBS. “I’m very well-educated, I have incredible experience, and I have never had to leverage sex to get anywhere I needed to go.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.