According to the New York Daily News, former presidential assistant Omarosa Manigault-Newman may have recorded confidential conversations she had during her time in the White House, and has been speaking with lawyers for fear of getting wrapped up in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Manigault-Newman, also a former contestant on The Apprentice, left the White House in December under disputed circumstances after serving for less than a year.
The Daily News reported that Manigault-Newman recently met with several high-profile attorneys, including Lisa Bloom, who briefly worked for Harvey Weinstein, and Monique Pressley, a former lawyer for Bill Cosby, out of concern that she may become involved in Mueller's probe. During her time in the White House she held the title of Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison.
It's unknown what types of conversations, and between whom, Manigault-Newman is said to have recorded. It's also unclear why she believes she may be in legal trouble. However, a source told the Daily News that the White House's recent decision to ban staffers from having personal cell phones on the premises was directly related to Manigault-Newman's reported practice of recording conversations.
“Everyone knows Omarosa loves to record people and meetings using the voice notes app on her iPhone,” a source reportedly told the Daily News. “Don’t be surprised if she has secret audio files on everyone in that White House, past and present staffers included.”
Manigault-Newman was a contestant on The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice, and in 2013, TV Guide named her one of the 60 "nastiest villains" in television history. She joined the Trump campaign as director of African-American outreach in July 2016, and served on the transition team before joining the White House proper.
The nature and timing of Manigault-Newman's departure from the White House is disputed. The American Urban Radio Network's April Ryan reported in December that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had fired her; according to Ryan, Manigault-Newman responded to this by demanding to see the president, spouting vulgarities and, ultimately, being escorted off of White House grounds. This account of events was partially corroborated by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Manigault-Newman was "physically dragged and escorted off the campus."
The White House, however, contented that Manigault-Newman resigned on her own accord, and furthermore, that she'd remain in her position until January 20th, exactly one year after Trump's swearing in. The president sent a brief tweet thanking her for her service shortly after her departure was originally reported.
Manigault-Newman's political experience predates her involvement with Trump. She briefly worked in the White House in the 1990s in then-Vice President Al Gore's office; although Manigault-Newman contents that she handled "logistics and advance and event planning" for Gore, a source told People that this wasn't the case, and that "her job was to respond to invitations."
The Boston Globe reported Friday that Manigualt-Newman had landed a speaking deal with Massachusetts firm American Program Bureau.
"Rising from the depths of extreme poverty to become the only African American senior advisor to the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump, Omarosa Manigault Newman is one of the most dynamic keynotes in the speaking world today," her profile page at APB's website reads. "Known by only her first name, OMAROSA utilizes the backdrop of her tumultuous childhood and her own personal tragedies to fuel her life lesson, she takes listeners on a journey that celebrates triumphs over tragedies."
Meanwhile, Life & Style reported that Manigault-Newman could receive as much as $10 million for a tell-all book about her time in the White House.