White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday refused to definitively rule out the possibility that President Trump has used the N-word, but repeatedly pointed out the president has denied uttering the racial slur.
“I can’t guarantee anything,” Sanders said when asked if she can assure that the public will never hear a recording of Trump saying the racial slur.
Sanders said she has not “been in every single room” but added that “the president addressed this question directly” and that she has “never heard him say it.”
The remarkable exchange came after former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote in her new tell-all book “Unhinged” that there are tapes of Trump saying the racial slur on the set of his old reality show, “The Apprentice.”
Trump denied that claim in a Monday night tweet, saying an “Apprentice” producer called him “to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”
Manigault Newman’s book has caused a major headache for the White House, and Trump has spent the past several days publicly denying her claims and attacking her credibility. The president escalated those attacks on Tuesday morning, calling her a “lowlife” and a “dog.”
“The president is certainly voicing his frustration with the fact that this person has shown a complete lack of integrity,” Sanders said when asked about the tenor of Trump’s rhetoric.
She also denied that his scorched-earth approach is motivated by Manigault Newman’s race. Before her ouster, she was the highest-ranking African-American in the West Wing.
“The president is an equal-opportunity person who calls things like he sees it,” she said, adding that he will always “fight fire with fire.”
Even though Trump and his staff have spent several days pushing back on the book, Sanders blamed the news media for the amount of attention the book is receiving.
“The individuals in this room continue to create a large platform for somebody they know does not have a lot of credibility,” she said.
Trump’s campaign has filed for arbitration against Manigault Newman, claiming she violated a nondisclosure agreement with the publication of “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”
“I’ve never heard him use that term or anything similar" but “I can't guarantee” that President Trump hasn't used the n-word, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says pic.twitter.com/nyBWLCeCgj
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 14, 2018