“She made it very clear that if I joined this campaign, I would have to keep quiet,” she told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin. “I saw this as an attempt to buy my silence, to pay me off.”
Ms. Manigault Newman provided four clips of the audio for MSNBC to air Thursday afternoon. The studio listened to the entire tape before approving the clips.
“On the Women for Trump tour, including Omarosa, we formed a sisterhood bond that is unlike any I have experience in my life,” Mrs. Trump said in a statement. “We never would have imagined that one of our own was secretly recording all of our private conversations.”
The audio outlines a scene in Ms. Manigault Newman’s book “Unhinged” where Lara Trump offers the former White House aide a position with the Trump 2020 campaign. It begins with Mrs. Trump addressing her concern about a New York Times article published in 2017 that suggested Ms. Manigault Newman could reveal unflattering details about her time in the White House.
“It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have — we’ve got to — everybody positive, right?” Mrs. Trump is heard asking.
“Oh, God no,” Ms. Manigault Newman interjected.
“Sometimes, you know, come to New York for meetings. But I would love if you could, you know, occasionally go do speaking engagements and that sort of thing for us,” Mrs. Trump said, “I think you’d be awesome at that.”
Ms. Manigault Newman pointed to the vagueness of her position as evidence that it was an attempt to pay her off. The Trump team didn’t care what she did, but wanted her to stay quiet, she said.
Mrs. Trump said in her statement that the Trump 2020 campaign reached out because of their relationship with Ms. Manigault Newman and that the discussions about her role were stretched out over a week.
“When Omarosa was fired by the White House chief of staff, my entire family was concerned for her because we had no idea about the basis of her dismissal,” Mrs. Trump said, “We still wanted her on our team because we cared about her so much.”
“You know, they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it,” Mr. Trump is heard saying, “G— dammit. I don’t love you leaving at all.”
The Trump 2020 campaign filed an arbitration claim against the former aide on Tuesday. She argued the lawsuit is an attempt to silence her and claimed the president also sent threatening letters to her book’s publishers.
Ms. Manigault Newman hinted more tapes could be released in the near future.
“I’ll do what I have to do to protect myself,” she said, “Donald Trump has met his match.”
“Woman to woman, I shared a connection with Omarosa as a friend and campaign sister, and I am absolutely shocked and saddened by her betrayal and violation on a deeply personal level,” she said, “I hope it’s all worth it for you, Omarosa, because some things you just can’t put a price on.”
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