Ex-Trump aide says she secretly taped her firing

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — 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-security 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.

“Who in their right mind thinks it’s appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?” tweeted Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee.

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.