a former West Wing aide and reality-television star, secretly recorded a conversation she had with White House Chief of Staff
in the Situation Room, she said Sunday on NBC.
On ”Meet the Press,” Ms. Manigault-Newman discussed her departure from the White House, saying she felt threatened by Mr. Kelly’s approach to her while learning she was being removed her job.
“It’s very obvious a threat,” she said. “The chief of staff under the direction the president of the United States threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me. That’s downright criminal.”
NBC played the recording of Ms. Manigault-Newman’s conversation with Mr. Kelly.
“I think it’s important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be, you know, you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation. And then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation,” Mr. Kelly said, according to the recording.
White House press secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
denounced Ms. Manigault-Newman’s comments in a statement Sunday evening.
“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,” Ms. Sanders said.
President Trump on Saturday called Ms. Manigault-Newman a “lowlife” when asked about her upcoming book, for which she is making media appearances.
Staff members aren’t usually permitted to carry cellphones or recording devices in the Situation Room, which is a secure facility designed to allow for sensitive national-security discussions.
Ms. Manigault-Newman labeled Mr. Trump a racist who has “mentally declined.”
“I was complicit with this White House in deceiving this nation,” she said on the news show. “They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is, about how difficult it is for him to process complex information, how he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impacts our country.”
Ms. Manigault-Newman didn’t comment when asked whether she recorded other conversations in the White House.
During the interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, she also said she had listened to a tape in which Mr. Trump uses a racial epithet.
“When he talks that way, the way he did on this tape, it confirmed that he is truly a racist,” said Ms. Manigault-Newman, who is African-American.
She said she had been asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement barring her from making negative comments about Mr. Trump and White House officials. She said she didn’t sign the agreement.