After previously denying that she was fired from her position at the White House, Omarosa Manigault Newman has released a recording that allegedly proves Chief of Staff John Kelly not only fired her, but threatened her while doing so.
During an interview on Sunday with NBC’s Meet the Press, the Apprentice-contestant-turned-Trump-aide shared a tape with the program that was allegedly recorded in secret while Kelly fired her in December 2017.
Before playing the tape, Manigault Newman — who served as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison — said that she made the recording in order to “protect myself” from false stories about her time in Trump administration. Manigault Newman told Todd that she has “no regret about” recording the interaction.
In the recording, a man purported to be Kelly tells the former White House aide, “It is important to understand that if we can make this a friendly departure.” Kelly adds that it would be necessary so that Manigault Newman could “go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”
“It’s very obvious[ly] a threat,” Manigault Newman told host Chuck Todd. “He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you. The chief of staff of the United States under the direction of the president of the United States threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me — that’s downright criminal.”
Later on the tape, when asked by Manigault Newman whether Trump was aware that she was being fired, Kelly allegedly tells her, “Let’s not go down the road,” adding that “the staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the president.”
Manigault Newman told Todd, Sunday, that she believed that statement proved “Donald Trump has no idea what’s happening in the White House,” although she later admitted that after having “subsequent conversations” with Trump, he did know she was being fired.
Manigault Newman also addressed a claim made in her forthcoming tell-all memoir Unhinged that Trump was recorded using the “N-word” in outtake footage from the Apprentice.
While in her book Manigault Newman claimed to have heard about the tapes from multiple sources, she alleged during the Meet the Press interview that she has since heard the comments herself.
“I heard this voice as clear as you and I are sitting here,” she told Todd, adding that once she actually heard the recording, “it was confirmed, what I feared the most: that Donald Trump is a con man and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities.”
“But when he talks that way, the way he did on this tape, it confirmed that he is truly a racist,” she added.
Asked about Manigault Newman’s book by reporters on Saturday, the president simply called her a “lowlife,” according to a White House pool report.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also issued a statement saying that Unhinged “is riddled with lies and false accusations,” adding that “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.”
RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack
Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who said he was cited as one of Manigault Newman’s sources, also spoke out against her claims.
“I’m in @Omarosa’s book on page 149. She claims to have heard from someone who heard from me that I heard Trump use the N-word. Not only is this flat-out false (I’ve never heard such a thing), but Omarosa didn’t even make an effort to call or email me to verify. Very shoddy work,” he wrote on Twitter.
Manigault Newman told Meet the Press that Trump never called her the “N-word” to her face. But, she said in her NBC interview: “I am pretty certain that he’s probably said some very derogatory things about me,” she said. “In fact yesterday, on this moment, before the anniversary of Charlottesville, instead of talking about how to unify the nation, he actually insulted me by calling me a lowlife.”
“This is a man who is inclined to start racially charged engagement,” she added.
Unhinged will be available Aug. 14.