WASHINGTON—Omarosa Manigault Newman, the fired White House aide seeking publicity for her new memoir about her time in the Trump administration, said in an interview Sunday that the way Chief of Staff John F. Kelly dismissed her involved a “threat” and played an audio recording of Kelly that she said she made in the Situation Room.
The recording was played on NBC News’ Meet the Press, where Manigault Newman was interviewed by Chuck Todd.
In the purported recording, which would constitute a serious breach of White House security, Kelly is heard complaining about her “significant integrity issues” and saying that he wants to make her departure “friendly” and without “any difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”
The Washington Post reported Friday that after being fired, Manigault Newman declined a $15,000-a-month (U.S.) job offer from U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign, which came with a nondisclosure agreement stating that she could not make disparaging comments about Trump, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, their families, Trump’s businesses or the campaign. The Post has reviewed the agreement.
In her interview with Todd, Manigault Newman said she considered the offer an attempt to buy her silence. “They were not offering a real job,” she said. “They told me I could work from home, if I wanted to work. They didn’t care if I showed up.”
In a statement Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described the book as “riddled with lies and false accusations.” On Saturday, Trump called Manigault Newman a “lowlife.” Manigault Newman, who starred on Trump’s show The Apprentice, was fired from her administration position in December amid allegations of misconduct, including trying to stage her wedding photos on White House grounds.
Manigault Newman’s purported recordings inside the White House — especially the Situation Room, which is supposed to be one of the most secure locations on Earth — represents a serious breach of security protocol, said Ned Price, a former National Security Council spokesperson for the Obama administration.