Former White House adviser and The Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman says in a new book that she believes there are tapes from the program in which President Donald Trump used the N-word, the New York Times and Guardian reported on Friday.
In the book Unhinged, which is set to be released next week, Manigault Newman says that Trump never said the word in front of her, but claims to have been privy to multiple conversations by the end of 2016 in which other sources described a tape of him using the word.
“By that point, three sources in three separate conversations had described the contents of this tape,” she said. “They all told me that President Trump hadn’t just dropped a single N-word bomb. He’d said it multiple times throughout the show’s taping during off-camera outtakes, particularly during the first season of ‘The Apprentice.’ ”
“I was told exactly what Donald Trump said—yes, the N-word and others in a classic Trump-goes-nuclear rant—and when he’s said them,” Manigault Newman continued. “During production he was miked, and there is definitely an audio track.”
It’s important to note that Manigault Newman’s sourcing here, how she left the White House, her description of that departure, and the fact that she’s trying to sell a book do not bolster her credibility.
Persistent rumors of outtakes in which Trump uses the N-word have been floating around Hollywood at least since his presidential campaign. And Mark Burnett, the creator of the show, has refused to publicly divulge the show’s video archives, generally citing vague legal concerns.
But Manigault Newman is not actually adding anything of substance to that conversation and she’s making the claim in a book that she’s obviously hoping will make some money. Further, she is now saying that the Trump administration fired her because of her “hunt for the tapes,” which would give her another motive to push the unsourced claim.
According to the Guardian:
She says she confided in the former White House communications director Hope Hicks, who said, “I need to hear it for myself,” and continued to ask her frequently about what progress she was making.
She believes that Hicks told the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, that Omarosa was close to getting her hands on the tape, and this gave him cause to terminate her job, though he found a different pretext.
Earlier this year, Politico reported that Manigault Newman had been fired for abusing a White House car service, and it was previously reported that Kelly had fired the former reality TV star as part of his effort to rein in a chaotic White House when he first became chief of staff.
“[T]his book is riddled with lies and false accusations,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “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.”
While the book’s claims taken from second-hand conversations should perhaps be taken with a very big grain of salt, some of the substance of Manigault Newman’s direct interactions with Trump are still fascinating. For example, she says he used a different racial slur about a family member of one of his closest advisers.
From the Guardian :
She also claims that she personally witnessed Trump use racial epithets about the White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway, who is half Filipino. “Would you look at this George Conway article?” she quotes the president as saying. “F**ing FLIP! Disloyal! Fucking Goo-goo.”
Both flip and goo-goo are terms of racial abuse for Filipinos.
(George Conway’s Twitter feed has been fairly consistently critical of the president.)
Manigault Newman also cites a “growing realization that Donald Trump was indeed a racist, a bigot and a misogynist” as explaining her turn against the president. Tom Arnold, who has made many public claims about an Apprentice outtake tape, has claimed that Trump uses the “C-word” in one of the clips.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the owner of The Apprentice archives, was subpoenaed in May by a former contestant who has accused Trump of sexual harassment. That subpoena seeks to force the company to release any tapes in which Trump talks about women “in any sexual or inappropriate manner.”
Update, Aug. 10, 1:35 p.m.: Conway says he doesn’t believe that the allegation about Trump slurring him is credible. He wrote an article supportive of the Mueller investigation in June, well after Manigault Newman left the White House.
When asked if the statement could have been about other articles in which he appeared critical of Trump, Conway said he didn’t believe it was.
Ultimately, without knowing which article Manigault Newman was talking about and when, it’s hard to know the truth. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that she had secretly recorded some of her conversations with Trump.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else. Join Slate Plus.Join Slate Plus