So How Did Omarosa Make Her Secret Recordings?

One reporter suggests she used a pen, as White House explores ways to stop more tapes
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2018 11:15 AM CDT
So How Did Omarosa Make Her Secret Recordings?
In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, Omarosa Manigault smiles at reporters as she walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

First she released a recording of White House chief of staff John Kelly firing her. Then she released a recording of President Trump from the next day expressing sympathy to her. Consider that sympathy officially gone: On Monday morning, Trump unloaded on Omarosa Manigault Newman in a three-part tweet:

  • 'Begged me': "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time," he begins. "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...really bad things," he continues. "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!"
  • Media shot: "While I know it's 'not presidential' to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible," Trump concludes. "Sorry!"

  • Huge breach: That Manigault Newman managed to record Kelly firing her from the Situation Room might be one of the worst security breaches in White House history, writes Alex Lockie at Business Insider. After all, this is where the biggest decisions on national security are made and where staffers are supposed to give up their phones before entering. Ned Price, a former National Security Council spokesman, tells Axios that he's "never heard of a more serious breach of protocol."
  • So how? "There's a misimpression that it'd be difficult to sneak a phone into the Sit Room," tweets Price. "It wouldn't be. It's a system built on trust. These are supposed to be the finest public servants we have. The WH wasn't designed for the Omarosas of the world. Sad we now have to accommodate them."
  • Unless ... It's possible she didn't make the recordings on a phone. "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," tweets freelance journalist Yashar Ali. It's not exactly the stuff of James Bond, he adds, given that you can buy such devices on Amazon.
  • The law: Some White House officials are suggesting that Manigault Newman might have somehow broken the law, especially with her recording of Kelly, but a post at New York is skeptical about that. For one thing, she didn't have any security clearance to begin with, which makes it "far less than 'likely' that she violated federal law," writes Susan Hennessey of Lawfare. Still, ABC News reports that the White House is looking into legal options to block the further release of recordings.
  • Will it matter? Will Manigault Newman's accusations against Trump, including that he used the n-word during his Apprentice years, have any effect? Don't count on it, writes Eugene Scott at the Washington Post. "Americans who ostracized Manigault Newman for defending what she now apparently considers indefensible are most likely to respond to her return to the spotlight with avoidance and indifference," he writes.
(More Omarosa stories.)

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