By Jacqueline Corba and Carlo Versano
Former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman told Cheddar Monday that she "started to see things that concerned me and alarmed me" in the Trump White House.
That's why she surreptitiously recorded an untold number of conversations she both had and overheard.
She wouldn't comment on how she taped the president, citing ongoing arbitration with Trump campaign lawyers. But the most recently released recording, which she played Monday morning on ABC's "The View", consisted mostly of a discussion between Trump and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders which involved Hillary Clinton and the so-called Steele dossier. In the audio file, which was supposedly recorded in October 2017, Trump claims Clinton's campaign paid $9 million for a "phony report" that detailed collusion between his campaign and Russia.
According to Manigault Newman, Trump vastly underestimates "the depth and the breadth" of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Russia and wishes she "rang the alarm" on the president's misconduct earlier.
"If you discover that your friend is an arsonist, you gotta stop giving them matches," she said. "Unfortunately, I was a co-conspirator in doing that, and I don't want to be a part of that anymore."
Manigault Newman gained some notoriety as a contestant on the inaugural season of "The Apprentice" and parlayed her 15 minutes into a reality-show career before joining the Trump administration as a director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She was fired from her post last December after about a year on the job. Lately, she's been on a weeks-long publicity tour for a new book, "Unhinged," in which she calls the president unfit to lead.
Manigault Newman said she originally supported Trump, though she became concerned almost immediately after the president took office. "It went straight to his head," she said. "Power is the most addictive drug in the world."
The former aide also said she believes she knows the anonymous author of last week's explosive New York Times op-ed, which also dubbed Trump unfit. By looking at old correspondence and noticing style, tone, and word similarities, Manigault Newman said she thought the essay was penned by Nick Ayers, Vice President Pence's chief of staff. Pence has adamantly denied having anything to do with the editorial, telling CBS on Sunday that he was "100 percent confident" no one on his staff wrote it.
"Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House" is available now.
For full interview click here.