The Omarosa-Trump Feud, Explained

Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images.
Happier times: President Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault-Newman attend the 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Red Carpet Event at Trump Tower on April 1, 2013.
Omarosa Manigault-Newman has a new "tell-all" memoir about her time in the White House, in which she claims President Donald Trump is a racist whose mental health difficulties make him unfit for office. The president, of course, is not happy about what he perceives as a betrayal from his longtime mentee.
Over the past few days, there's been secret tapes leaked by Manigault-Newman that have been met by Trump's angry tweets. He has called her a "lowlife" and a "dog." (The latter sparked outrage among critics and allies of Trump, who said the use of the term "dog" was a racially charged attack on Manigault-Newman, who is Black.) Trump's reelection campaign is filing arbitration action against her, alleging the former aide violated her nondisclosure agreement (NDA).
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The feud is truly The Apprentice reboot no one asked for.
It all began when Manigault-Newman was fired last December. Though originally it was said that she had resigned, the reality is that she was ousted by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in a rather dramatic fashion.
It was the end of the line for the former The Apprentice US contestant, who had followed Trump from his 2016 presidential campaign all the way to the White House. During the campaign, she served as Trump's director of African-American outreach. As one of his closest aides, someone other than family who had known Trump for more than a decade, she was a staunch supporter. (Even if she did originally support Hillary Clinton for president.)
“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she famously said in September 2016.
After Trump was inaugurated, she was appointed as the White House’s director of communications for the Public Liaison Office, earning nearly $180,000 — the top staff salary in the Trump White House. She was the highest-ranking Black aide in the administration. (Since Manigault-Newman left the Trump administration eight months ago, there have been no senior White House officials who are Black.)
She didn't do a lot of liaisoning, however. Her biggest hits included: staging an elaborate wedding photo shoot at the White House for her 39-person bridal party, feuding with journalist April Ryan, and calling herself "the Honorable Omarosa Manigault" when signing an invitation to the Congressional Black Caucus.
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Once she was ousted, though, Manigault-Newman came back with fury. After comparing the White House to a plantation during her stint at Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year, she said she would write a "tell-all" book.
“I’m thinking of writing a tell-all sometime. He’s going to come after me with everything he has," she said. "Like, I’m going up against a kazillionaire. So I’ll probably end up in court for the next… but I have to tell my truth. I’m tired of being muted."
The book is finally here. Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House, out Tuesday, was the final push Trump needed to completely sever ties with Manigault-Newman.
In her book Manigult-Newman claims that Trump is a "racist, misogynist, and bigot"; that once she walked into the Oval Office and saw him eating a piece of paper after a meeting with his former attorney Michael Cohen; and that there is likely a tape of the president using the n-word during The Apprentice. (The mythical tape has been a source of speculation since the 2016 election.)
The White House and several other members of the Trump orbit have denied the claims in the book are true. But Manigault-Newman has staked her credibility on something else: secretly-recorded tapes.
During her press tour for the book, she has claimed she secretly recorded Trump and other high-ranking figures in his circle including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner; Kelly when he fired her in the White House's Situation Room (!); and a conversation during the 2016 presidential campaign that involved Katrina Pierson and Lynne Patton — now senior adviser on Trump's reelection campaign and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official, respectively.
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She has provided some of the tapes to members of the media, most recently Tuesday morning.
The president has since been on the offence. In the last few days, he has called her "wacky," "vicious," and "not smart."
“Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. "She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard...."
He continued: "... really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!"
Trump implied on Monday that Manigualt-Newman was breaking her NDA. The practice, long used by the Trump family to silence those around them, has never been common among presidents. In fact, legal experts say that NDAs are not legally enforceable when it comes to public employees. (Manigualt-Newman's NDA with the Trump campaign might be another story.)
Manigault-Newman claims the Trump camp tried to buy her silence, offering her a $15,000-a-month contract from his reelection campaign in exchange for keeping quiet after being fired.
The beef between the two former friends will likely continue in the following days as Manigault-Newman continues promoting her book, which would lead to more press and therefore, more reactions from the Oval Office. It's a cycle that will never end.
But for all the traded barbs, both Trump and Manigault-Newman seem to forget something: He hired someone who he considered "vicious, but not smart" while she decided to work for someone who had a long history of racism and misogyny.
If this feud proves anything is that they both deserve each other.
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