Donald Trump has escalated a bitter row with his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, praising his chief of staff, John Kelly, for “quickly firing that dog”.
Manigault Newman, a former adviser to the US president and contestant on the reality TV show The Apprentice, has released three secret recordingsrelated to her firing as she promotes her memoir, Unhinged.
Her TV appearances, and her claim to have heard a tape of Trump using the N-word and other racial slurs during filming for The Apprentice, have annoyed the president, who levelled another barrage of attacks at her on Tuesday, tweeting: “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
On Tuesday morning, Manigault Newman revealed on CBS News a third tape that she says records a 2016 conference call among Trump campaign aides who are discussing how to address potential fallout from the release of tapes that allegedly show Trump using the N-word.
The campaign aides had previously denied that any such conversations took place.
On Monday, Trump denied claims of racism and said Manigault Newman was a liar for claiming he used the N-word: “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary and never have. She made it up.”
When Kelly fired Manigault Newman in December in the White House situation room, she secretly taped it, in an apparent breach of security protocol.
In the recording, which she played on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Kelly told Manigault Newman the firing was the result of “significant integrity issues” and that she could face damage to her reputation if she did not make it a “friendly departure”.
On Monday, Manigault Newman released another recording in which Trump appeared to express surprise that she had been fired. “Omarosa? Omarosa, what’s going on? I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving? What happened?” Trump says on the tape, played on NBC’s Today show.
In a later interview on Monday, Manigault Newman said she “absolutely” had more tapes in her possession and warned that there were more to come.
The controversy has raised questions about whether she could face legal repercussions for recording in the situation room.
Defending her actions, Manigault Newman said the recordings were necessary in a White House “where everybody lies”.
Trump’s scathing attack on Manigault Newman is the latest in a string of insults directed at prominent African American people. This month, Trump questioned the intelligence of the basketball star LeBron James, who had criticised the president in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. Trump called Lemon the “dumbest man on television”.
Days earlier, Trump said the black California congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat, had a “very low IQ”.