“I will not be silenced. I will not be intimidated. I’m not going to be bullied by Donald Trump,” Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former reality television star and White House staffer told The Associated Press on August 14, in response to the news that the White House is seeking legal action against her for breach of a confidentiality agreement with the release of her tell-all book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House which details the eleven months she spent as Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison.
The former Apprentice contestant made headlines this week with the revelation that she had secretly taped White House Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her last December in the Situation Room. She also dropped a bombshell during her August 12 interview on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd claiming that an audiotape exists from the Apprentice days where Trump can be overheard using the “N” word.
Manigault Newman described the President as a “con” and a “racist” who has been “masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities.” Since the release of the Kelly tape, two additional audiotapes have also surfaced; a conversation between Manigault Newman and President Trump where he denies knowing that she had been fired and another conversation which occurred a few days after the firing where first daughter-in law Lara Trump offered Manigault Newman, a $15,000 a month consulting stint to stay with the Trump 2020 re-election campaign. These tapes are just the tip of the iceberg. The New York Times reports that approximately 200 audiotapes exist. And furthermore, Manigault Newman has told the AP that she has a stash of video, emails, text messages and other documentation which substantiate the claims in her book.
The White House quickly denounced Manigault Newman’s various allegations. President Trump dismissed her as a “crazed crying low life” and complimented General Kelly for “quickly firing that dog”. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described her former colleague as “a disgruntled employee”. Lara Trump who traveled with Manigault Newman during the 2016 presidential campaign decried her actions as a personal betrayal.” Woman to woman, I shared a connection with Omarosa as a friend and a campaign sister, and I am absolutely shocked and saddened by her betrayal and violation on a deeply personal level”, Ms. Trump said in a statement.
The reactions to Newman Manigault’s claims have been a mixed bag. While Unhinged is #2 on Amazon, no one from the right or the left is rushing to her defense. In fact, several of the sources who she has referenced as knowing about the tape where then citizen Trump reportedly uttered the “N” word have flat out denied its existence, including pollster Frank Luntz, former Trump 2016 spokesperson Katrina Pierson and former Assistant to Eric Trump Lynn Patton. Furthermore Apprentice Executive Producer Mark Burnett has also contacted President Trump to say that the aforementioned tapes do not exist.
The mainstream media may not be buying into Manigault Newman’s narrative, but they are still blaming Trump. Perhaps in an homage to Mary Shelley’s 1823 novel Frankenstein, the media are saying that Omarosa is a lying, shameless opportunist because Trump created her that way. Here is a sampling of recent articles “He Created Omarosa: How Trump’s protégé turned his tactics against him” (Washington Post).“Donald Trump has nobody to blame for Omarosa but himself (Business Insider).“Welcome to the Resistance, Omarosa: She’s a venal scammer, but she’s right to tell all about Trump”( The New York Times).
So while the mainstream media is now focused on a new narrative that chaos and backstabbing betrayals are to be expected when you elect a former reality television star as president, some of us are trying to get answers to more substantive questions. Why was Omarosa recording phone conversations and making videos while she was in The White House? How did she get into the Situation Room with a recording device, a circumstance which has posed tremendous risk to our national security? It has been well documented that she was fired for ethical violations which included using White House resources for her own personal gain such as renting The White House car for personal trips. There were also breaches in protocol and she apparently called in sick a lot.
Was she not fully vetted before she was hired? And if she did make a policy violation, shouldn’t she have been given a warning and perhaps been sent to class in ethics? And the question of all questions, what was her job description? What were her annual performance goals? No one in The White House seemed to know what she was doing on a daily basis. Yet, she was earning $179,000 a year. She attended some meetings and the daily press briefing, but she did not appear to have a clearly delineated role with specific initiatives that she was managing. Or if she did, it wasn’t apparent to those around her, a signal that she was probably spending more time planning her wedding and pursuing other interests than serving the President’s agenda.
Manigault Newman, who is frequently photographed wearing a cross, is an ordained minister. One would think that as a servant of God, she would view her opportunity to serve her country by working in The White House as an incredible gift. For it is not only a coveted professional experience that very few individuals will ever have, but it is also a platform to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
President Trump took a tremendous chance on Manigault Newman by not only including her on his 2016 presidential campaign, but by also offering her a position in The White House. It’s unfortunate that she squandered this opportunity of a lifetime.
The contents of Manigault Newman’s treasure trove of secret recordings and documents still remains to be seen. Did she enter her White House employ with good intentions and lose her way through a combination of ineptitude, greed and ego? Or was she an undercover disrupter all along?
Image: CC by 2.0; Excerpted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/27602809549