Former Trump aide and reality television contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman hit the talk show circuit to discuss details over her termination from the White House.
The media storm started on “Meet the Press,” where she revealed a recorded conversation that detailed her firing by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly last December, a conversation she deemed a threat. The recording reportedly occurred in the Situation Room.
The accusations continued Monday when Manigault Newman revealed a second recorded conversation with Trump where she confronted him about her firing. Trump seemed surprised, saying: “I don’t love you leaving at all.”
The White House immediately reprimanded Manigault Newman’s actions.
“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,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Sunday.
While what is said on the tapes could be up for interpretation, where Manigault Newman taped a conversation has been a hot topic. The recording was taken in the same place where White House personnel monitor and deal with crises at home and abroad and conduct secure communications with outside and often overseas personnel. The room is equipped with secure and advanced communications.
The development of the secret tapes raises a couple questions about the Manigault Newman breaking the law when she taped the conversation with Kelly? The federal Wiretap Act of 1968 makes it illegal to record any oral, telephone or electronic communication that is “reasonably expected to be private.”
Washington, D.C. is a one-party consent, which requires one party to agree to recorded conversations or phone calls. This means that Manigault Newman could be the one party who consented to the recording. It is also worth noting that while a state’s recording laws often determine legality, federal law takes precedence and can preempt if the conversation is considered private and in need of protection.
Many analysts have questioned how trustworthy Manigault Newman is. Omarosa is an opportunist and attempts to control the narrative at every chance she can. The revelation that she had been fired is in direct opposition with what Manigault Newman told the media shortly after news leaked that she was leaving the White House. She denied a story from Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan who had reported that the “Apprentice” star had responded to her firing with obscenities and had to be escorted out by security, saying the allegations were by someone who had a “personal vendetta” against her.
“I resigned and I didn’t do that in the residence as being reported. [White House chief of staff] John Kelly and I sat down in the situation room, which is a very secure, very quiet room in the White House and we had a very candid conversation,” Manigault Newman told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “No one else has reported what she’s reporting and this is the one person who has attacked me for the last year. So you know that this is personal.”
Another example of this need to control the narrative could be seen in her interview with “Today Show” Savannah Guthrie where Manigault Newman dodged direct questions, repeatedly telling the host to “calm down” when Guthrie tried to get her to stay on topic.
When Guthrie said she had additional questions, Manigault Newman stated she had to prepare for her next appearance. “I’m not afraid but I do… I have an interview right after this with someone else,” she said.
Manigault Newman is to release a supposed tell-all book titled “Unhinged” on Tuesday, describing her point of view of the Trump White House.
Leah Williams is a Lead Contributor for theDailyLead.