I have no use for grifter and former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who has been making the rounds promoting her new book, but the question that's worth asking here is that if Newman was allowed to make these recordings without their knowledge, who else was recording as well? Other staffers? The Russians?
Newman made an appearance on this Sunday's Meet the Press, where host Chuck Todd played a portion of the recordings of Newman's firing by John Kelly, and amazingly, that possibly didn't set off alarm bells with Todd:
CHUCK TODD: Alright. I want to go to your White House time and we'll start—
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Please.
CHUCK TODD: -- on your last day. Were you fired or did you resign? What's the story?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Oh, it's –
CHUCK TODD: What, what, what do we call this?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: It's pretty clear from that recording that John Kelly came in and said "This is the end, we want you to leave." But what's interesting is, they take me into the Situation Room, the doors are locked. They tell me I can't leave. And they start to threaten me, put fear in me, to put me under duress.
CHUCK TODD: Look I'm going to play -- I want to play this tape but I'm curious, how is it -- you recorded the Chief of Staff –
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Absolutely.
CHUCK TODD: The White House Chief of Staff in the Situation Room –
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Yes, yes.
CHUCK TODD: And this takes place before the Christmas party –
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: In the Situation Room.
CHUCK TODD: And you're prepared in a moment’s notice to record him? Or were you planning to record him the minute you found out you had this meeting?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Well no, first of all, like I said I'm the only African-American there. When you walk into a meeting with John Kelly who’s refused to meet with me the whole time he's there, in the Situation Room, Chuck. We're not going in there to talk about, you know, parking or scheduling issues –↓ Story continues below ↓
CHUCK TODD: You knew this was going to be about your job?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: We're going in there to talk about something very serious.
CHUCK TODD: You prepared to tape?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: I was prepared because -- first of all, John Kelly had been very vocal about trying to find a reason to let me go. He had gone to the press instead of coming to me. Never giving me an opportunity to meet with him. So the question is, why not have the meeting in the Chief of Staff's office? Why put me in the Situation Room, lock the door, and tell me over and over again -- as they'll hear - -they'll hear his part -- that I couldn't leave. That I couldn't consult an attorney. That I couldn't talk to my husband who was sitting outside of the door. Yes I was prepared. And as you'll see in Unhinged –
CHUCK TODD: How often did you tape people?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Wait Chuck.
CHUCK TODD: I know, how often did you tape people?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: As you'll see in Unhinged, I protected myself because this is a White House where everybody lies. The president lies to the American people. Sarah Huckabee stands in front of the country and lies every single day. You have to have your own back because otherwise you'll look back and you'll see 17 knives in your back.
CHUCK TODD: Do you know how disloyal it looks, though, that you taped people –
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: That’s not disloyalty
CHUCK TODD: -- that you taped people that you worked with?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: That's not disloyalty. Because let me tell you Chuck, if I did not have this recording, people would still believe the false, incredible story that I was running around the White House. The false story that was told by a reporter and repeated by this network and other reporters that I tried to charge the residence of the White House, and it's a lie. If I didn't have this recording, listen, people would still think that I was trying to set off alarms. So yes I had to protect myself and I have no regret about it.
CHUCK TODD: Let's listen to the recording.
JOHN KELLY: 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. And then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to you reputation.
CHUCK TODD: How did you take that comment about your reputation?
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: It’s very obvious a threat. He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you, the Chief of Staff of the United States, under the direction of the President of the United States, threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me. That’s downright criminal. And if I didn’t have these recordings, no one in America would believe me. No one. So I protected myself and I’m going to tell you, I’m so glad I did, because now we can put to bed all those false rumors that that one reporter stated, and the false reports that were spread around by the media.
CHUCK TODD: Alright, let me play the portion where you jump in and have a conversation with Mr. Kelly.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Please.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN : Can I ask you a couple questions? Does the president – is the president aware of what’s going on?
JOHN KELLY: Don’t do – let’s not go down the road. This is non-negotiable discussion.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: I don’t want to negotiate. I just I’ve never talked – had a chance to talk to you General Kelly so if this is my departure I’d like to have at least an opportunity to understand.
JOHN KELLY: We can, we can talk another time. This has to do with some pretty serious – integrity violations. So I’ll let it go at that. So the staff and everyone on the staff works for me not the president.
CHUCK TODD: You’ve made no bones about that you have a lot of tapes.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Wait, he just said the staff and everybody works for him, not the president.
CHUCK TODD: Right.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: You don’t have a problem with that, Chuck? The staff –
CHUCK TODD: There’s many White Houses, for what it’s worth, many White Houses are organized that way, where the Chief of Staff is the lead—
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN: It tells you that Donald Trump has no idea what’s happening in the White House. He has no clue.
"Disloyalty" isn't the issue, Chuck. National security is.