Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday called ex-White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s taping of White House chief of staff John Kelly “a massive violation of every security protocol.”
“She taped the chief of staff for the White House in the situation room, clearly a violation of every security protocol that she signed when she applied for a security clearance,” Spicer said on “Fox News Sunday.”
A number of lawyers in the national security community and journalists were quick to point out that the recording should not have happened, given electronics are not allowed to enter the situation room.
Trump‘s legislative director Marc Short said on ABC Sunday that the recording was “quite an affront.”
Manigault Newman released part of the 20-second tape Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The tape, she said, was of Kelly firing her from her role as White House aide in December.
On the tape, Kelly can be heard saying that Manigault Newman can move on “without any type of difficulty” related to he reputation “if we make this a friendly departure.” The former White House aide later described Kelly’s comments as “very obviously a threat.”
Spicer said Sunday that Kelly treated Manigault Newman with respect by giving her “an opportunity to walk away with her dignity and respect.”
“And how She pays it back is she brings a personal recording device into the situation room in the White House,” he said. “ … That should be the story right now.”
Spicer also accused Manigault Newman of making up false claims in her book, calling it “complete opportunism and completely false.”
Manigault Newman began her book tour this week for “Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House,” amid a flurry of explosive claims about her time in the White House. In her book, Manigault Newman writes that Kelly fired her when he knew she was close to getting the audio of Trump using a racial slur.
Trump on Saturday called Manigault Newman a “lowlife” following a number of other incendiary claims stemming from the book. White House staff also slammed the former aide as a “disgruntled former White House employee” who is “trying to profit off of these false attacks.”
BY MICHAEL BURKE – 08/12/18