Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former contestant on “The Apprentice” who became a White House aide, released a new secret recording on Monday in which President Donald Trump can be heard discussing Hillary Clinton and the Russia investigation.
Manigault Newman said the audio recording, which was first released on ABC’s “The View” and later aired on MSNBC, was made in October 2017 during a meeting between senior communications staffers about tax reform that Trump crashed to talk about a dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia compiled by British intelligence operative Christopher Steele.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and former White House communications director Hope Hicks can be heard on the recording talking to Trump:
Trump: I think Hillary is getting killed with Russia. The real Russia story is Hillary and collusion. Somebody told me, Hope, you told me it was $9 million they spent on the phony report.
Sanders: Closer to six.
Hope Hicks: Yeah, someone just said, “She’s far worse for the country than we thought if she didn’t know her own campaign was spending $9 million.”
Trump: Did you see? Nobody knows who spent it. No, I heard it was nine. I heard it was 5.7 but now they say it was nine. It was spent through a law firm that way they can’t trace it. But they traced it. One thing in this business is they trace it. And, yeah, close to $9 million. I can’t even believe it. The reason a law firm is because this way you don’t have to give any papers. But they found out, it’s definitely illegal and it’s illegal from a campaign standpoint, from a campaign financing standpoint. So the whole Russia thing, I think seems to have turned around. What do you think, Sarah?
She said on MSNBC that the entire exchange lasted roughly 15 minutes, and that afterward, Trump made the staffers gather around the Oval Office to listen to him “rant” further on various topics.
During her appearance on “The View,” Manigault Newman said that Trump frequently crashed meetings at the White House, “rambling from topic to topic,” because he got bored “very often.”
She also called Trump’s claims in the recording “blatant lies,” but said that the communications staff had to repeat those claims to the American people.