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'This Is a HUGE Security Violation': Omarosa Under Fire for Secret White House Recordings

08-13-2018
Omarosa Manigault at the RNC

WASHINGTON – Former presidential adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman is under fire from the Trump administration and national security experts for secretly recording White House conversations.

One of those recordings included her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly in the high-security Situation Room where cell phones and other recording devices are not allowed.

"We've got to talk to you about leaving the White House," Kelly is heard saying in the tape. "It's come to my attention over the last few months that there's been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues related to you and the use of government vehicles and some other issues."

"If we make this a friendly departure ... you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation and then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation," he told Manigault Newman.

Meanwhile, the former "Apprentice" contestant has released yet another recording in which President Donald Trump seems blindsided by news of her dismissal.

"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on?" the president is heard saying on the tape. "I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?"

Security experts and others have denounced the recordings as a "serious breach of ethics and security."

"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, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

Laura Rosenberger, the director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a former Hillary Clinton adviser, appeared to share that sentiment.

"This is a HUGE security violation. HUGE," Rosenberger wrote on Twitter. "Makes you wonder what other kinds of security breaches are occurring under this White House."

However, Manigault Newman defended her decision to covertly record her firing, saying she viewed the conversation with Kelly as a "threat."

"If I didn't have these recordings, no one in America would believe me," said Manigault Newman, who has just come out with a controversial memoir, titled Unhinged, in which she chronicles her time in the White House.

“Based on particular policy considerations with her being a federal employee there may be requirements that she shouldn’t have done so, however, if she believed that this was the only way to obtain evidence that might be relevant in a later proceeding then it certainly could be something that she could bring up,” Regent Law Professor Natt Gantt said.

 

Previously known for her staunch defense of the Trump administration, the former White House aide is now denouncing the president as being a "con" who "has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities" but is instead "a racist."

The White House, however, is making it clear that the charges being made by the former aide should be taken with a grain of salt.

"The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security – and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested to Fox News that the president regards the latest actions by Manigault Newman, who he's labeled a "lowlife," as nothing short of betrayal.

"Whether it's thirty pieces of silver or a seven-figure book advance for you, your publicist, your ghost-writers and others, all that's changed is this book deal and her being fired, so I think he probably feels very betrayed," Conway said.

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