The president’s Twitter attacks on the former aide have only fueled charges of racism from his critics, who claim he is trying to dehumanize Newman, a Trump associate since 2004, when they first met on the set of The Apprentice reality TV series.
Rolling out the publication of her book, Unhinged, Newman has launched a media tour and has slowly trickled out audio recordings she secretly took during her time at the White House and, beforehand, on Trump’s presidential campaign. That campaign on Tuesday filed an arbitration against her for allegedly violating a nondisclosure agreement, hoping to block the release of additional tapes.
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning, rationalizing his decision to hire Newman in the first place. “Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
Newman says she has personally heard an audio recording of Trump on a racist diatribe against blacks, rumored to have existed throughout the closing days of the 2016 campaign. While that tape is not in her possession, she says that she recorded “plenty” of others over the course of the last two years.
She even recorded her own firing in the White House Situation Room, meant to be the most secure room in all of Washington. That tape features John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, encouraging Newman to leave quietly.
Newman’s public battle with the president once again highlights a pattern in the administration of backstabbing, of surreptitious recording and of efforts by Trump to silence former aides seeking to profit off their access. The New York Times reported that it knows of others who have taped conversations in the West Wing, and Newman claims several other officials have been pressed to sign non-disclosure agreements.
The White House dismissed criticism of the president’s tweets.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with race and everything to do with the president calling out someone’s lack of integrity,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, when asked whether Trump was continuing a pattern of disparaging minorities. “The president’s an equal opportunity person who calls it like he sees it. He fights fire with fire.”