Trump ex-aide claims se­cret record­ings

White House con­ver­sa­tions in­clude fir­ing

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - NATION & WORLD - BY JILL COLVIN

BRIDGE­WA­TER, N.J. — For­mer pres­i­den­tial ad­viser Omarosa Mani­gault New­man said Sun­day she se­cretly recorded con­ver­sa­tions she had in the

White House, in­clud­ing her fir­ing by chief of staff John Kelly in the high-secu- rity Sit­u­a­tion Room. It was a highly un­usual ad­mis­sion, which im­me­di­ately drew fire from al­lies of the pres­i­dent and na­tional se­cu­rity ex­perts.

Parts of her con­ver­sa­tion with Kelly were played on the air when she ap­peared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to pro­mote her new book, “Un­hinged,” which will be re­leased next week. The As­so­ci­ated Press in­de­pen­dently lis­tened to the record­ing of the con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Mani­gault New­man and Kelly, which she said was one of many she’d sur­rep­ti­tiously recorded for her own pro­tec­tion.

In her book, Mani­gault New­man paints a damn­ing pic­ture of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, in­clud­ing claim­ing with­out ev­i­dence that tapes ex­ist of him us­ing the N-word as he filmed his “The Ap­pren­tice” re­al­ity se­ries, on which she co-starred.

Mani­gault New­man said in the book that she had not per­son­ally heard the record­ing. But she told Chuck Todd on Sun­day that, af­ter the book had closed, she was able to hear a record­ing of Trump dur­ing a trip to Los An­ge­les.

“I heard his voice as clear as you and I are sit­ting here,” she said on the show.

But the other record­ing she dis­cussed Sun­day could prove equally ex­plo­sive.

In the record­ing, which Mani­gault New­man quotes ex­ten­sively in the book, Kelly can be heard say­ing she can look at her time at the White House as a year of “ser­vice to the na­tion” and re­fer­ring to po­ten­tial “dif­fi­culty in the fu­ture rel­a­tive to your rep­u­ta­tion.”

Mani­gault New­man said she viewed the com­ment as a “threat” and de­fended her de­ci­sion to covertly record it and other White House con­ver­sa­tions, de­scrib­ing it as a form of pro­tec­tion.

“If I didn’t have these record­ings, no one in Amer­ica would be­lieve me,” she said.

The Sit­u­a­tion Room is a Sen­si­tive Com­part­mented In­for­ma­tion Fa­cil­ity, or SCIF, where the na­tion’s most con­se­quen­tial for­eign pol­icy de­ci­sions are made, and staff are not per­mit­ted to bring in cell­phones or other record­ing de­vices.


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