UPDATED 3:14 PM Aug. 12: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has addressed Omarosa Manigault Newman’s Meet The Press appearance on Sunday where she shared a secret recording between her and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
“The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security – and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee,” said Sanders.
PREVIOUS: America’s Greatest Reality TV Villainess took to NBC – the network that made her a star – this morning to play what she says is a secret recording of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Omarosa Manigault Newman, who served in the Trump White House until last December, claims she secretly recorded Kelly when he locked her in the Situation Room, then kicked her to the curb, threatening her on her way out.
Omarosa played the tape for Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd, in which a voice that sounds like Kelly is heard saying “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 and use of government vehicles and some other issues.”
A voice that sounds like Omarosa asks, “Is the president aware of what’s going on?” The Kelly-voice responds, “Let’s not go down the road. This is a non-negotiable discussion.”
“How is it you recorded the White House chief of staff and you’re prepared in a moment’s notice to record him?” Todd wondered. Omarosa explained that Kelly had always refused to meet with her, so when he wanted this meeting she knew something was up.
“I protected myself, because this is a White House where everybody lies,” she shot back. “The president lies to the American people. Sarah Huckabee stands in front of the country and lies every single day.”
“If I did not have this recording people would still believe the false, incredible story I was running around the White House” and that she had tried to charge the residence of the First Family to save her job, and “I was trying to set off alarms.”
“I have no regret about it,” she said of the secret recording.
Omarosa told Todd it was only after she closed her new book, Unhinged: An Insiders Account of the Trump White House, that she was finally able to hear a different secret recording that she had written about in her book.
In that recording, Apprentice star Donald Trump uses a racial slur to reference black people while working on the Apprentice NBC reality franchise.
“I had an opportunity to go to Los Angeles to sit down with the person who has a copy of the tape,” she said, claiming she heard Trump’s voice saying the word “as clear as you and I are sitting here.”
Todd showed remarkable restraint when Omarosa added that she “regrets…these people” are “probably trying to leverage” that recording as an “October surprise,” adding, “I don’t want to be part of that.”
Despite Trump’s infamous Central Park Five mythology, despite his having headed the birther movement that claimed President Obama was not a citizen of the United States, despite Trump’s candidacy announcement about Mexicans being rapists, despite Trump’s remarks one year ago that there were good people on both sides of the neo-Nazi march that resulted in the death of one protester, Omarosa said it was only when she heard that alleged tape of Trump saying the slur that it was “confirmed” for her “what I feared the most…that Donald Trump is a con and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engagement with diverse communities.”
“It confirmed that he is truly a racist,” she told Todd with a straight face.
“I had a blind spot where it came to Donald Trump,” added Omarosa, mastering understatement.
“As we are celebrating – actually, observing,” she corrected herself – “the anniversary of Charlottesville…he had the opportunity to bring the country together. But he doesn’t have the ability to do that, because he puts himself over country every day.”
Todd noted she did not resign in protest after Trump’s post-Charlottesville remark, did not resign after Trump called kneeling NFL players ‘SOB’s’, etc. He read remarks by an Omarosa non-fan that her newfound realization about Trump’s racial outlook appear to have emerged from her book deal, and is born of self-interest.
“I need to push back,” she said, simpering, “I am an author. This is my third book.”
Because she had a book to plug, Omarosa brought the conversation back around, acknowledging she was complicit in hiding from the American public – how mentally fogged Trump has become. That, by way of explaining why the book title starts with “Unhinged.”
At some point in the interview, fired White House staffer told Todd, “I will say this to you: I was complicit with this White House deceiving this nation…They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined [Trump] is, how difficult it is for him to process complex information, how he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impact our country. I was complicit in that. I regret that.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.