The Trump presidential campaign filed arbitration action against former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, alleging a breach of a confidentiality agreement. A campaign official said the action was filed with the American Arbitration Association.
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 harsh picture of Trump, including her claim that he used racial slurs on the set of his tv show.
“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, a retired Marine general, is White House chief of staff.
Trump has pushed back against Omarosa’s claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using a demeaning word about blacks. He tweeted that he had received a call from the producer of the show assuring him “there are NO TAPES … 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 Omarosa had called him “a true Champion of Civil Rights” until she was fired.
Omarosa, 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.
On CBS Tuesday, Manigault Newman released another audio recording 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.
One of the people allegedly featured on the tape is Katrina Pierson, an adviser to Trump’s re-election campaign who served as a spokeswoman for his 2016 campaign. 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 Omarosa. The tape appears to show Pierson saying of Trump: “He said it. He’s embarrassed.”
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 Omarosa promotes her memoir, which comes out officially Tuesday.
In a series of interviews, Omarosa 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.
Omarosa says she has more recordings. Asked on MSNBC 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 Omarosa 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 Omarosa 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 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, Omarosa 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,” adding, “This is his pattern with African-Americans.”
First Lady Melania Trump, meanwhile, is disappointed that Omarosa “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.
Omarosa 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.”
Omarosa 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.
Trump tweeted Monday that Omarosa 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.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on Fox News Monday that Omarosa 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 Omarosa 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.”
Omarosa 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.