Omarosa Manigault (Getty/Alex Wong)

Trump seems unaware that Omarosa had been fired from the White House in newly shared audio recording

“I didn’t know that . . . I don’t love you leaving at all,” the president said to Manigault-Newman after her firing


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Shira Tarlo
August 13, 2018 9:08pm (UTC)

Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the former "Apprentice" star turned executive branch staffer, shared an audio recording Monday of a private conversation she had with President Donald Trump last year in which the commander-in-chief seems unaware she had been fired from her top position at the White House.

"Omarosa, what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving. What happened?" Trump asks on the recording, which Manigault Newman claimed was taped the day following her unceremonious dismissal from the White House at the hands of Chief of Staff John Kelly. The tape was provided exclusively to NBC News by Manigault-Newman.

"General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave," she responded.

"Nobody even told me about it," Trump responded, to which Manigault-Newman exclaimed, "wow!"

"You know, they run a big operation. But I didn’t know it," Trump continued. "I didn’t know that. Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all.”

According to NBC News, the organization "does not know what was said before or after that exchange."

Trump fired back at Manigault-Newman's latest revelation Monday after she sat down for an interview with Savannah Guthrie on the "Today Show." On Twitter, the president attacked the character of his former aide, who he labeled as "nasty," "not smart," "vicious" and "wacky."

Trump added that "people in the White House hated her" and that his chief of staff reported that Omarosa "was a loser and nothing but problems." "She never made it, never will," the president further said in his early morning tweet storm.

During her conversation with Guthrire, Manigault-Newman accused Trump of being unaware of what was going on inside of his own White House. "John Kelly is running this White House, and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on," she claimed. "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation."

Manigault-Newman's disclosure follows her Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," in which she claimed she had heard a tape of Trump uttering the N-word while filming "The Apprentice." In "Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House," Manigault-Newman speaks extensively about the alleged tape, although she had not personally heard prior to press time.

"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," Manigault-Newman said Sunday on "Meet the Press."

The former White House staffer also brought tapes to her sit-down interview on "Meet the Press" Sunday, and indicated she had clandestinely recorded a number of conversations in the White House for her own protection. In the latest audio, Kelly argues that there had been "significant integrity issues" that prompted him to fire her. The White House chief of staff also notes his desire for Manigault-Newman's exit from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be one without "any difficulty in the future relative to your reputation."

Manigault-Newman disclosed that she had recorded Kelly after he had taken her into the Situation Room, a high-security conference room where personal cell phones are not permitted. Critics have denounced the audio recordings as a potential breach of national security. During her Monday appearance on "Today," Manigult-Newman was asked how she managed to surreptitiously record Kelly inside the high-security location, to which she answered, "I'll just leave that to your imagination."

Multiple news outlets reported at the time that Manigault-Newman had been physically escorted off White House grounds after she tried to storm Trump's residence in response to hearing she had been dismissed from her post as director of communications at the Office of Public Liason in December after less than a year on the job. The White House has dismissed Manigault-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."

On Saturday, Trump slammed Manigault-Newman as a "lowlife" in response to questions from reporters about her remarks – a criticism he reiterated Monday on Twitter.


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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