Not to be outshined by Watergate chronicler Bob Woodward, former director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison and multiple-time Apprentice cast member Omarosa Manigault Newman resumed her media rounds with a new tape from inside the White House during an appearance Monday on The View.
In a particularly meta moment, Omarosa says that Trump had “specifically told” her to “go after” Joy Behar and had complained that Sarah Huckabee Sanders had not been “tough” enough during her appearance one year ago on the daytime talk show where the co-hosts “streamrolled her.”
Omarosa further advanced—or muddled—the narrative around the possibly-not-real “N-word tape,” saying that while she does not “hold” the tape, she has “heard the tape.” Omarosa said “they have been talking about releasing it,” and she suspects it will happen “around the midterms.” It’s unclear who “they” refers to.
The hosts pushed her on perhaps the central question of the Omarosa heel turn: If Trump is as racist and “unhinged” as she says he is, why did she work with him in the White House and repeatedly defend him and testify to his character in public? “When you’re in an interpersonal relationship with somebody and you find out that person is an arsonist,” Omarosa replied, “you’re not going to stand by and keep handing them gasoline. I discovered Donald Trump was an arsonist trying to burn this country. In some way I was complicit … at some point you have to stop a toxic relationship.”
And she speculated on who the latest senior administration official to bash the president was: She said she believed the New York Times op-ed writer was a senior official in Vice President Mike Pence’s office. (The vice president has denied the op-ed came from him or anyone on his staff.) While she didn’t say the name, she referred to his chief of staff, who is Nick Ayers.
She unveiled a new tape of President Trump “crashing” a meeting with the communications staff in October 2017. “When Donald Trump got bored, which was very often because his attention span was very short, he would sometimes try to figure out what meetings were taking place in the White House and he would crash those meetings,” she said. “He came into the meeting, sat down, and he starts rambling from topic to topic, and none of it makes sense,” Omarosa said. He then went into his favorite topic: Hillary Clinton, the real colluder:
I think Hillary is getting killed now with Russia. The real Russia story is Hillary and collusion. Somebody told me, Hope, you told me, it was $9 million they spent on the phony report.
Sanders chimed in to say that the Clinton campaign had spent “closer to six” million, presumably referring to the dossier assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Trump says, “Nobody knows who spent it. No, I heard it was 9. I heard it was 5.7, but now they said it was 9.” For what it’s worth, the New York Times reported that the Clinton campaign and the DNC spent just over $12 million on the services of the law firm Perkins Coie who then, according to Reuters, paid Fusion GPS just over $1 million, of which $168,000 went to Christopher Steele’s firm.
In October of last year, when Omarosa said this taped meeting occurred, Trump tweeted that the Clinton campaign had spent $12 million, higher than the figures suggested by either Sanders or, also in the tape, Hope Hicks.
“It was spent in a law firm,” Trump says on the tape. “That way they can’t trace it. But they traced it. One thing in this business is they trace it … The reason a law firm is because this way you don’t have to give any papers. But they found out, it’s definitely illegal and it’s illegal from a campaign standpoint, from a campaign financing standpoint.”
To be fair, Trump is entirely right here regarding illegal campaign contributions and tracing transactions through law firms. Just look at Michael Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels.