Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman revealed on Sunday that she secretly recorded White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in the Situation Room, the highly secure room in the West Wing where the president meets national security staff.
“You recorded the chief of staff?” host Chuck Todd asked Manigault Newman, whose tell-all book about her time in the White House will be released on Tuesday.
“Absolutely,” said Manigault Newman.
“The White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?” Todd asked.
“Yes,” she said.
In the Situation Room meeting, Kelly told Manigault Newman that she was being fired from the White House because of “significant integrity issues.”
“We’re going to talk to you about leaving the White House. It’s come to my attention over the last few months that there’s been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues,” Kelly is heard saying in the secret recording, which Todd played during the interview.
Manigault Newman was fired on Dec. 12, 2017.
“I think it’s important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be — you know, you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation,” Kelly says in the tape. (RELATED: NPR Host Calls Out Omarosa Over Discrepancy In Her Tell-All Book)
“And then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”
It is unclear how Manigault Newman was able to take a cell phone or recording device into the Situation Room, which is designated to be a Secured Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF.
Marc Short, the former White House legislative director, said on ABC’s “This Week” that White House aides are required to leave their cell phones behind when entering the room.
Manigault Newman claimed that she was locked in the Situation Room with Kelly and told that she could not leave, in the interview with Todd.
“They start to threaten me, put fear in me, to put me under duress,” she claimed.
Asked how she perceived Kelly’s comments about her reputation, Manigault Newman said it was “very obvious a threat.”
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