Former White House official Omarosa Manigault Newman on Sunday said top administration officials are deceiving the country about President Donald Trump’s mental state and accused White House chief of staff John Kelly of threatening her when she was fired.
“I was complicit with this White House in deceiving this nation,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“ “They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is, about how difficult it is for him to process complex information, how he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impacts our country.”
She also told host Chuck Todd: “Being used by Donald Trump for so long, I was like the frog in the hot water. You don’t know that you’re in that situation until it just keeps bubbling and bubbling.“
Manigault Newman, who is promoting her new book, also provided a tape to NBC of a conversation between her and Kelly, which she claimed was a recording of her firing in the White House situation room. She left the White House in December 2017.
“I think it’s important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure we can all be, you know you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation, and then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation,” Kelly said, according to the tape played on air.
Manigault Newman said it was “obvious” that the reference to her reputation was “a threat.”
“He goes on to say that, ‘things can get ugly for you,’” she said. “That’s downright criminal.”
She also said the tape contradicts some media reporting about her firing, which said she responded to her firing with obscenities and that she tried to enter the White House residence, prompting Kelly to have her escorted out by the Secret Service.
“If I did not have this recording, people would still believe the false incredible story that I was running around the White House … that I tried to charge the residence of the White House, and it’s a lie,” Manigault Newman said. “If I did not have this recording, people would still think I was trying to set off alarms. So, yes, I had to protect myself.”
In the recording, she asks Kelly whether the president is aware of “what’s going on,” in reference to her firing. “Let’s not go down the road,” he says, saying her termination “has to do with some pretty serious integrity violations.”
“The staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the president,” he says.
“Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House“ is to be released Tuesday
Manigault Newman’s book describes the president as a racist, bigot and misogynist. In a statement last week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Manigault Newman’s book “riddled with lies and false accusations.”
On ABC’s “This Week,” Kellyanne Conway cast doubt on Manigault Newman’s credibility, arguing her explanation of multiple events have changed.
“The first time I ever heard Omarosa suggest those awful things about this president are in this book,” she said.
“I think Omarosa is a tremendous disappointment here because she should be taking credit for all the great gains that this president has made with respect to that low unemployment number among African Americans, Hispanic Americans and others,” Conway said.