Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former "Apprentice" contestant who became a White House aide, has provided an audio recording that she says is from 2017 and on which President Donald Trump expresses surprise that she'd been fired from his administration.
The tape, which was played exclusively Monday on the "Today" show and drew a harsh attack from Trump on Manigault Newman just hours later, appears to show the president having no idea that she had been dismissed by his chief of staff, John Kelly.
"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" Trump is heard saying on the tape, which Manigault Newman said was made when the president call her one day after her termination in December last year.
She responds, "General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave."
"Nobody even told me about it," Trump replies.
Manigault Newman then says, "Wow," before Trump reiterates his shock.
"You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it,” Trump is heard saying on the tape. "I didn't know that. Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all."
NBC News does not know what was said before or after that exchange.
Manigault Newman, in an interview later Monday on MSNBC's "Velshi & Ruhle," said she "absolutely" had more tapes in her possession but hadn't decided yet whether she would release them publicly.
Trump, for his part, responded to her latest claims in a trio of tweets Monday morning ripping her as "wacky" and "vicious but not smart" and saying "people in the White House hated her."
He called her "nasty," claimed she constantly missed work and said Kelly had told him she was a "loser" and "nothing but problems."
"She never made it, never will," he said.
Trump also said, "While I know it's 'not presidential' to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication."
Manigault Newman, responding to Trump's tweets, said on "Velshi & Ruhle" that it was "sad, with all the things going on in the country" that Trump "would take time out to insult me and my intelligence."
"This is his pattern with African-Americans," she said. "He doesn't know how to control himself."
Following Manigault Newman's interview on MSNBC, Trump tweeted that "Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!"
Newman, however, wrote in her book, "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House," that she had not signed a non-disclosure agreement.
She asserted in the book that within 24 hours of her departure, Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, emailed her a contract to work on the president's re-election campaign for $15,000 per month, in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement that was "as harsh and restrictive as any I'd seen in all my years of television."
Manigault Newman wrote that she turned down the offer. She provided what she said were copies of those agreements to NBC's "Meet the Press."
Earlier on Monday, in a contentious interview on "Today," after the audio recording was played, Manigault Newman accused Trump of lying to the American people and said he "doesn't even know what’s happening in his White House."
"General Kelly, John Kelly is running this White House and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on," she said. "He's being puppetted, and that's very dangerous for this nation."
Manigault Newman said she had known Trump "to be an entertainer — but I never thought he'd lie to the country."
Manigault Newman's disclosure of the recording came the day after she told NBC's “Meet the Press,” in an exclusive interview, that she has personally heard a tape of Trump using the N-word during filming for "The Apprentice” — a revelation she says "confirmed that he is truly a racist."
Manigault Newman made the charge days before the release on Tuesday of her new book, in which she described hearing about the tape but not hearing it herself. She said Sunday that she personally listened to it after her book had gone to press.
On Monday, she said there were "multiple tapes" but that the one she had described previously was an audio tape that was "about three minutes" long.
On it, Trump "was talking about some African-Americans in the production during the course of 'The Apprentice.'"
Manigault Newman said Sunday she had "heard for two years that it existed, and once I heard it for myself, it was confirmed, what I feared the most: That Donald Trump is a con and has been masquerading as someone who is actually open to engaging with diverse communities."
Manigault Newman also provided "Meet the Press" with an audio recording she said was made in 2017 when Kelly fired her. In it, Kelly argued that there have been "significant integrity issues" that prompted him to fire her. She claimed the recording was made when Kelly took her into the Situation Room, a specially secure room where the president and his top aides address major national security crises, and where personal cellphones are not allowed.
When asked Monday on "Today," how she managed to tape Kelly inside such a secure area, Manigault Newman replied, "I'll just leave that to your imagination."
NBC News and other outlets reported at the time that Manigault Newman had been escorted out of the White House after she tried to enter the presidential residence in response to hearing she'd been fired.