Ex-aide says she refused Trump hush money, calls him racist
WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman was offered a $15,000-a-month contract from President Trump’s campaign to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide by Chief of Staff John Kelly last December, according to a forthcoming book by Manigault Newman and people familiar with the proposal.
But she refused, according to the incendiary new book, ‘‘Unhinged: An Insider Account of Trump’s White House,’’ which also depicts Trump as unqualified, narcissistic, and racist. Excerpts of the book were obtained by The Washington Post.
After she was fired, Manigault Newman wrote, she received a call from Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, offering her a job and the monthly contract in exchange for her silence.
The proposed nondisclosure agreement allegedly said Manigault Newman could not make any comments about Trump or his family; Vice President Mike Pence or his family; or any comments that could damage the president. It said she would do ‘‘diversity outreach,’’ among other things, for the campaign, according to her account.
‘‘The NDA attached to the e-mail was as harsh and restrictive as any I’d seen in all my years of television,’’ Manigault Newman wrote.the book.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the book ‘‘is riddled with lies and false accusations.”
“It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the president during her time in the administration,’’ Huckabee Sanders said.
The allegations threaten to become another political headache for the administration akin to a separate controversial book earlier this year by journalist Michael Wolff, ‘‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,’’ which detailed a wayward White House and prompted broad denunciations from Trump and his aides.
The White House had initially planned on trying to avoid commenting on the Manigault Newman’s book to keep it from getting more attention, White House aides said.
For months while in the White House, Manigault Newman said, she spent time searching for a rumored tape of Trump saying the N-word on tape as host of ‘‘The Apprentice.’’ Her book does not provide evidence that such a tape exists. Manigault Newman also says that other aides in the White House kept tabs on rumors of the tape.
‘‘By that point, three sources in three separate conversations had described the contents of this tape,’’ she writes. ‘‘They all told me that President Trump hadn’t just dropped a single N-word bomb. He’d said it multiple times throughout the show’s taping during off-camera outtakes, particularly during the first season of ‘The Apprentice.’ ’’
Manigault Newman is expected to appear on ‘‘Meet the Press’’ on Sunday morning and will then go on a longer publicity tour.
Her book is the first insider account from a White House aide that is not largely flattering toward the president. Manigault Newman, who was the highest-ranking black employee in the White House, calls Trump a ‘‘racist, misogynist, and bigot.’’
Whether the book paints an accurate depiction of Trump’s conduct or amounts primarily to a disgruntled tome from a reality TV star-turned-White House aide is in dispute.
White House aides have long described Manigault Newman as a problematic employee who exploded at other West Wing aides.
Manigault Newman held one of the highest-paid positions in the West Wing for a year, securing the job as an ‘‘assistant to the president’’ after starring as a famed villain in his TV show, ‘‘The Apprentice,’’ and working for the Trump Organization.
Manigault Newman does not offer evidence for some of her most explosive charges but also extensively taped her conversations in the White House, according to people familiar with the tapes, who requested anonymity.
Manigault Newman questions Trump’s mental state, describes him as unstable, and portrays him as unable to control his impulses while describing the extensive lengths that staff members have gone to in attempts to keep him in line.
‘‘All we need to remember is that Trump loves the hate,’’ she writes. ‘‘He thrives on criticism and insults. He delights in chaos and confusion. Taking to Twitter to call him names only fuels him and riles his base. To disarm him, starve his ego; don’t feed into it.’’