In a blistering statement Friday, the White House chastised Omarosa Manigault Newman's book Unhinged, saying that the yet-to-be-released memoir is "riddled with lies and false accusations" and criticizing the media for covering it. In the book, Unhinged, Manigault Newman calls Donald Trump a "racist" who repeatedly used the N-word during his time hosting The Apprentice, according a leaked copy obtained by the Guardian.
"Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations," White House Press Secretary Sarah Hucakbee Sanders said in a statement. "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."
Manigault Newman was contestant on The Apprentice before becoming a prominent surrogate for Trump on the campaign trail and, later, a presidential adviser in the White House. She left the administration under disputed circumstances in 2017, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that she was "physically dragged and escorted" out of the building by security.
Manigault Newman makes several stunning allegations in Unhinged, according to leaked excerpts published by various news organizations. Among other things, she claims that:
- Recordings exist of Trump using the "N-word" repeatedly on the set of The Apprentice;
- She witnessed Trump eating a piece of paper in the Oval Office;
- The White House offered to pay her $15,000 a month after her firing in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement that forbid her from speaking ill of Trump or his family;
- Trump had a tanning bed installed in the White House;
- She secretly recorded many conversations with Trump during her time as a White House employee;
- Trump used racial slurs to refer to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s half-Filipino husband, George Conway.
Several former colleagues of Manigault Newman have cast doubt on her claims, both on- and off-the-record. Several White House aides told the Washington Post that the allegation about Trump eating paper isn't true, for instance. According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the book alleges that he told an associate that he heard Trump say the N-word; however, Luntz tweeted that he "never heard such a thing." Conway tweeted that the story about Trump referring to him with racial slurs is "not credible" and "ridiculous" — though it's worth noting that by Manigault Newman's telling, Conway wasn't present when Trump allegedly made the comments.
More generally, Manigault Newman writes in the book that during her time in the White House, she ultimately came to believe that Trump is a bigot.
"It had finally sunk in that the person I'd thought I'd known so well for so long was actually a racist," she writes, according to excerpts obtained by NBC News. "Using the N-word was not just the way he talks but, more disturbing, it was how he thought of me and African-Americans as a whole."
She also writes that when watching Trump explain in an interview why he fired FBI director, she concluded that the president is in the midst of cognitive decline.
"While watching the interview I realized that something real and serious was going on in Donald's brain. His mental decline could not be denied," Manigault Newman writes. "I knew something wasn't right."
Unhinged hits bookstores on Aug. 14.