Omarosa week may never die and it’s causing mass hysteria in Trumpland.
As The Daily Beast first reported last week, former senior Trump administration official and former senior Apprentice villain Omarosa Manigault-Newman had secretly recorded President Donald Trump and has played the audio for others. She leveraged these conversations and secret audio while shopping her forthcoming supposedly “tell-all” book Unhinged.
This week, Manigault-Newman made clear that she has recordings of her conversations with several other high-ranking figures in the Trump orbit—including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, senior adviser on the Trump re-election campaign Katrina Pierson, and HUD official Lynne Patton—by making the audio available to the media.
The most recent clip was played Tuesday morning, when CBS News revealed a recording of what appears to be an October 2016 phone conversation among Manigault-Newman, Patton (then an assistant to Eric Trump), and Pierson. In the recording—which was not independently verified—the group is heard talking about how they would handle the situation if a long-rumored tape of Trump saying the word “n----r” actually existed and if it were ever made public.
“I am trying to find at least what context it was used in to help us maybe try to figure out a way to spin it,” Pierson says on the audio CBS News obtained.
Patton then says, “I [told Trump], ‘Well, sir, can you think of any time where this happened?’ And he said, ‘no’… He goes, ‘How do you think I should handle it?’ and I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you are talking about. And he said, ‘Well, why don’t you just go ahead and put it to bed.’”
In the audio recording, Pierson then replies, “No, he said it. He is embarrassed.”
The exchange doesn’t actually confirm the existence of the so-called n-word tape. But it does add credence to the idea that people in Trump’s orbit thought it could exist. And that has forced allies of the president to engage in a bit of cleanup.
The night before the CBS News segment aired, Pierson appeared on Fox News, during which she was asked about a passage in Manigault-Newman’s book detailing this call. At that point, audio of the call had yet to emerge and Pierson denied Manigault-Newman’s account.
“No,” she explained, “that did not happen. Sounds like she is writing a script for a movie.”
But on Tuesday morning following the release of the audio by CBS News, Pierson amended this, saying she was simply humoring Manigault-Newman’s “obsession” with this alleged Trump “n-word” tape, and likened it to entertaining a “crazy” conversation from a friend or relative.
“She was obsessed with it," Pierson told The Daily Beast. “Omarosa had been concern trolling [about] this tape daily. She was obsessed… Finally, I got to the point where, when it was just us, I would roll with it because there were other things that I needed to deal with. But of course I wasn’t saying he actually said it… There were several times that I would play to her just to keep her out of the way, as I’ve already stated publicly. The thing here is there was never a conference call confirming anything. It was all speculation, all rumor, all strategy, it was never confirming anything.”
Pierson also noted that an official statement from her on this would be forthcoming. She said she has not spoken to the president about this yet, but intends to do so soon to clear up the matter.
Late last week, Pierson had told The Daily Beast that “it was very disappointing, albeit unsurprising, that Omarosa would become malefic towards [the president] who helped create her brand, fund her ventures, and invest in her future by handing her a top accommodation in the White House,” adding that Manigault-Newman is now being “disloyal for personal gain.”
Virtually the entirety of Trumpworld is lining up to take shots at Manigault-Newman as a serial liar and opportunist and backstabber, including the leader of the free world himself.
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife [like Omarosa] a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning.
It is still unclear if there is even a shred of real evidence to support the claim of the “n-word” tape’s existence. The Daily Beast looked into this in late 2016, and found no proof. However, The Daily Beast did find several other instances of Trump doing and saying many other nasty or unbecoming things during his reign on The Apprentice, including refusing to punish actor Gary Busey for allegedly sexually assaulting someone on his show, and laughing it off.
Trump also repeatedly called rapper Lil Jon “Uncle Tom.”