Trump lashes out at Omarosa, calls her 'that dog'
Former White House aide declares she 'will not be silenced'
Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman declared Tuesday that she "will not be silenced" by U.S. President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss appeared to shift to a possible legal battle.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Manigault Newman, who is promoting her new book about her time in Trump's orbit, said she believes the president's campaign is trying to keep her from telling her story. She commented just hours after Trump's campaign announced it was filing an arbitration action against her, alleging violations of a secrecy agreement she signed.
"I will not be intimidated," she told the AP. "I'm not going to be bullied by Donald Trump."
Still, the former reality TV star-turned-political aide declined to answer several questions about her experiences during her year as the highest-ranking African-American aide in Trump's White House, citing the arbitration action. She said she'd been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's office, but would not discuss details.
'No respect for women'
She continued to unleash criticism of Trump, claiming he used racial slurs on the set of his reality show The Apprentice and suggesting he's unfit to be president.
Her words come after Trump escalated their messy clash, referring to Manigault Newman as "that dog!"
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!—@realDonaldTrump
Manigault Newman fired back at Trump in an interview on MSNBC, saying: "If he would say that publicly, what else would he say about me privately?"
She added: "He has absolutely no respect for women, for African-Americans."
While Trump trades in insults on a near daily basis, deeming Manigault Newman a "dog" was a stunning move in a row that touched on several sensitive issues in Trump's White House, including a lack of racial diversity among senior officials, security concerns — Manigault Newman taped her firing in the White House Situation Room — and extraordinary measures such as non-disclosure agreements to keep ex-employees quiet.
Trump has also pushed back against Manigault Newman's claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using the N-word. He tweeted that he had received a call from the producer of The Apprentice assuring him "there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa."
Trump insisted, "I don't have that word in my vocabulary, and never have." He said Manigault Newman had called him "a true Champion of Civil Rights" until she was fired.
New audio recording released
On CBS, Manigault Newman released another audio recording that she said showed campaign workers discussing an alleged recording of Trump using the racial slur. The White House and the campaign did not immediately respond to questions.
One of the people allegedly featured on the tape is Katrina Pierson, an adviser to Trump's re-election campaign who served as a spokeswoman for his 2016 campaign. Pierson has said she never heard Trump use this type of language and said on Fox that the only person she heard talking about a tape was Manigault Newman. The tape appears to show Pierson saying of Trump: "He said it. He's embarrassed."
Trump officials and a number of outside critics denounced the recordings as a serious breach of ethics and security — and White House aides worried about what else Manigault Newman may have captured in the West Wing.
The tape recording appears to show Trump expressing surprise about her firing, saying "nobody even told me about it." But Manigault Newman said he "probably instructed General Kelly to do it."
On Twitter, Trump declared Monday that she had been "fired for the last time," a reference to her appearances on his reality TV show. He said Kelly had called her a "loser and nothing but problems," but he himself had tried to save her job — because he liked her public comments about him.
"I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me — until she got fired!" Trump tweeted.
Responding on NBC, Manigault Newman said, "I think it's sad that with all the things that's going on in the country that he would take time out to insult me and to insult my intelligence."
She added, "This is his pattern with African-Americans."
Manigault Newman also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to accept a "senior position" on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement.
The offer raises fresh questions about the ways that White House aides are being offered safe landing spots after they leave the Trump administration.