In a new audio recording released Monday by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, Donald Trump claims that he does not know what happens in the Whole House because “they run a big operation,” and claims to be surprised to learn that Manigault Newman — a former Apprentice contestant who was named to a high-ranking White House communications position by Trump — had been fired the day before, NBC News reported Monday morning.
Manigault Newman’s release of the Trump recording comes a day after she released a recording of her own firing by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, in which Kelly appears to threaten her with legal action, as The New York Times reported.
“There are pretty significant legal issues that we hope don’t develop into something that, that’ll make it ugly for you,” Kelly is heard telling Manigault Newman on the recording which released Sunday, and which was played during her interview on NBC’s Meet The Press program, as Inquisitr reported.
On Monday, the former Trump aide appeared on the same network, for an interview on The Today Show. During that appearance, she released audio of what she described as a phone call she received from Trump in December of last year, on the day following her dismissal by Kelly. Audio of that call may be heard in the Today Show video excerpt below.
On the recording, Trump claims that he learned about Manigault Newman’s dismissal “on the news,” as The Hill reported.
“Omarosa, what’s going on?” Trump says in the phone call. “I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving. What happened?”
“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Manigault Newman replies.
Trump then claims ignorance of her firing, and in fact, of events that occur among the White House staff.
“Nobody even told me about it. You know, they run a big operation but I didn’t know it,” Trump claims in the recording. “I didn’t know that. G******n it. I don’t love you leaving at all.”
White House aides are now apparently panicked that Manigault Newman may have recorded numerous White House conversations secretly — using a recording device hidden in a pen, according to New York Magazine journalist Yashar Ali, writing on his Twitter account Monday.
“Several current and former White House/Trump campaign staffers have told me that they are concerned that Omarosa used a pen that has the capability of capturing audio to surreptitiously record meetings,” Ali reported. “This is hardly some James Bond move…you can buy these pens on Amazon.”
A “Spy Pen with Surveillance Hidden Camera” that also includes an audio recording device is indeed available on Amazon.com with a listed price of $27.99.
The District of Columbia has a “one-party consent” law governing audio recording, according to the Digital Media Law Project. That means recording of conversations is legal as long as one party involved consents to the recording.