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Trump calls Omarosa a 'dog'; another tape aired

The president's harsh attacks on former aide Manigault Newman come as her book, "Unhinged," is officially released.
Trump and Manigault Newman in the Roosevelt Room of the White House
President Donald Trump with White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman at an African American History Month meeting at the White House on Feb. 1, 2017.Evan Vucci / AP file

President Donald Trump escalated his nasty Twitter broadside against Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday, insulting his former White House aide as a "dog."

In a tweet, Trump also called Manigault Newman — who over the prior two days had provided to NBC audio recordings made in the White House of Trump and chief of staff John Kelly — "crazed" and a "lowlife."

"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 wrote. "Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"

The insults pick up where Trump left off on Monday, when he ripped Manigault Newman "wacky" and "vicious but not smart" and said "people in the White House hated her." He called her "nasty," claimed she constantly missed work and noted that Kelly had told him she was a "loser" and "nothing but problems."

Trump hasn't shied away from using the word "dog" as an insult against his enemies before. In June 2016, he slammed Mitt Romney for having "choked like a dog" in the 2012 presidential race. Earlier that year, he blasted former NBC News journalist David Gregory for having been "fired like a dog," and said the same about conservative commentator Erick Erickson after he left the RedState blog. He's used the word to insult Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Glenn Beck and NBC News' Chuck Todd.

Manigault Newman, responding to the insult during an interview with MSNBC's Katy Tur, said Trump "has no respect for women, for African-Americans."

"I think that it just shows you that if he would say that publicly, what else would he say privately. He has absolutely no respect for women, for African-Americans," she said.

Manigault Newman also told Tur she had been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team — which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election — and accused Trump of knowing that WikiLeaks would release hacked Democratic emails.

"Absolutely," Manigault Newman said after Tur asked her whether Trump knew "about the emails before they came out." She did not elaborate on her claim.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, asked during a Tuesday press briefing about Trump's choice of words in his tweet about Manigault Newman, said the president was simply "voicing frustration."

Trump's tweet Tuesday came on the official release day of Manigault Newman's book, "Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House," in which she slammed the president as racist and in mental decline.

On Monday, Manigault Newman, the former "Apprentice" contestant who became a White House aide, provided to NBC a 2017 audio recording on which 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 Kelly.

"Nobody even told me about it," Trump says on the tape. "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it.”

A day earlier, Manigault Newman had 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 has also said she has more tapes in her possession.

Manigault Newman appeared on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday and the network aired a new tape of what she said was a phone call between herself and several other Trump advisers discussing the potential fallout if the alleged N-word tape became public during the 2016 campaign.

The October 2016 phone conversation was said to be with Lynne Patton, then-assistant to the president's son Eric Trump, campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, and campaign communications director Jason Miller.

"I am trying to find at least what context it was used in to help us maybe try to figure out a way to spin it," Pierson said on the tape.

Patton then recounted asking then-candidate Trump if he ever said the slur.

"I said, 'Well, sir, can you think of anytime where this happened?' And he said, 'No,'" Patton said.

Manigault Newman: "Well, that is not true."

Patton: "He goes, 'How do you think I should handle it?' and I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you are talking about. And he said, 'Well, why don't you just go ahead and put it to bed.'"

Pierson: "He said, no, he said it. He is embarrassed by it."

Trump has denied using the N-word and disputes that a recording of him using the word exists.

NBC News does not know what came before or after on the tape that was aired by CBS News.

Pierson appeared on Fox News on Monday night before the release of the audio and denied the call ever took place.

"No, Ed. That did not happen. Sounds like she is writing a script for a movie," Pierson said, referring to the host, Ed Henry.

Manigault Newman told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday that she made tapes because she was watching her own back and everyone in the administration lies.

Pierson later clarified her comments in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday in which she claims Manigault Newman was the sole source of the rumors regarding the alleged tape and that she appeased Omarosa's "obsession" to "move the discussion along." Pierson also said she never confirmed Trump said the N-word on tape.

“During the 2016 campaign, we heard rumors about an alleged tape from 'The Apprentice.' It’s clear now that those rumors were always being circulated by Omarosa and her alone. In her secret tape recording of me, it was one of many times that I would placate Omarosa to move the discussion along because I was weary of her obsession over this alleged tape," Pierson said in the statement. "To be clear, I never organized a conference call with Jason Miller to confirm Mr. Trump said anything. That discussion was nothing other than sifting through unconfirmed rumors regarding the Apprentice tape and the transcript supports my statement. Omarosa fabricated the story by conflating numerous discussions."