Omarosa Manigault-Newman revealed two new recordings of President Donald Trump on Monday, including one of him talking about how he wouldn’t want to be a terrorist in the wake of an attack in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers – as White House staffers laugh in the background.
Newman said the recordings were from an October 2017 meeting of aides in the White House communications department that Trump allegedly crashed.
Among those present were Hope Hicks, then his communications director, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is still his press secretary.
The new recordings add more questions about Trump’s control and competency as the White House deals with the fallout from Bob Woodward’s new book ‘Fear’ and an anonymous New York Times op-ed of a ‘resistance’ movement in the administration.
One segment of the recording, where Trump is talking about Hillary Clinton and the unverified Steele dossier from the 2016 election, was played on ABC’s ‘The View’ Monday morning.
The other portion of the recording features Trump talking about the October attack in Niger where four soldiers were killed. It took place in the same meeting but before the Clinton conversation and was played on MSNBC Monday afternoon.
Trump rambles in the recording and says that terrorism ‘it’s a rough business. I wouldn’t – I don’t think I’d want to be a terrorist right now. It’s not a good life but it’s – you know, the only thing they have.’
Staffers can be heard laughing in the background during his remarks.
‘They were laughing because he’s like, making light of the situation,’ Newman told MSNBC. ‘He’s saying, well, I wouldn’t want to be a terrorist. And then you hear the laughter.’
‘But it’s not a laughing matter,’ she continued. ‘We lost four American soldiers and four of our allies, the Nigerian troops that were fighting alongside. And they were ambushed by 100 ISIS fighters.’
She also tied the conversation to the anonymous New York Times op-ed appearing last Wednesday where a ‘senior official in the Trump administration’ wrote about a ‘resistance’ movement in the White House and said there was talk of invoking the 25th amendment against the president.
‘You know, in the op-ed, the anonymous writer talks about people being very concerned. When people say come forward and give us proof that he’s unfit, give us proof that he’s unhinged, here it is, Donald Trump raw showing you just how unhinged and inappropriate he is, talking to junior staffers about something so serious,’ Newman said.
In the recording, Trump starts talking of the economy, switches to the attack in Niger and claims terrorists are fleeing the Middle East to fight in Africa.
‘We had 3.2 last quarter before this. So it’s really – it’s really going good. And we have a lot of things happening on the economic front. I think the military’s doing good. We’re – you know and now, on Niger. So, what happens is we have decimated every – you know, it’s a rough business. They’re rough, too. They want to kill us. We’ve let the military do what they have to do. And whether you call it rules of engagement or any way you want to say it, but we let them do it,’ he said.
Then he claims terrorists are fleeing to Africa.
‘And in the Middle East, there’s very few left. We really – we’ve done a very good job. We’ve done more in seven months because really it’s seven months that we’ve started. We’ve done more in seven months than they’ve done in eight years, OK? And so we’re – they’re good there. But what happens is now they flee and they flee to Africa. And they flee to Niger and countries around there. And that’s how these young people get attacked. And they got attacked by 50 real fighters. But these were people, in many cases, that were in the Middle East, that now go to Africa to try and, you know, cause problems there. And, ultimately, they want to come back here, because this is really where they want to be,’ he notes.
He then concludes with his line that made staff laugh: ‘So it’s a rough business. I wouldn’t – I don’t think I’d want to be a terrorist right now. It’s not a good life but it’s – you know, the only thing they have.’
He goes on: ‘What else is there? But – but that is – you know, people don’t say that. The reason they’re there is because we forced them out. And it’s sad, it’s not nearly as many as – it’s not nearly as intense, but it’s pretty intense when you see that happening. So that’s that.’
That conversation happened right before a discussion Newman played on ‘The View’ Monday morning, where Trump was raging about Hillary Clinton‘s links to the infamous Steele dossier and alleging she violated campaign finance law.
Also heard on the tape are then-communications director Hope Hicks and press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Washington D.C. is ‘one-party consent’ in recording people, meaning Newman didn’t need anyone else’s permission to tape the conversations.
The new tape will only add to concerns about chaos inside the Trump White House and comes amid the combination of veteran reporter Robert Woodward’s book which says officials stole documents from Trump’s desk to stop him signing them and the anonymous New York Times op-ed saying the Cabinet had discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the president.
Trump has responded to the claims by tweeting that the White House is a ‘well-oiled machine’ and also attacked Manigault-Newman as a ‘dog’ but she suggested Monday that she is in ‘arbitration’ with the White House.
Newman told MSNBC the recording was made right after an ISIS attack in Niger on October 4, 2017, where five Nigeriens, four Americans, and 21 militants were killed.
‘This recording is kind of disturbing because it’s right after the attacks in Niger and you’ll hear Donald Trump kind of rambling on about the attacks there, giving miscommunication to the comms team and kind of mocking the death of these soldiers. It’s painful to hear him because, as you know, he will go on to attack the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson just a couple of weeks after this,’ she said.
In late October, Myeshia Johnson told ABC News that Trump blundered through the condolence call.
‘The president said, ‘He knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway,’ she said. ‘It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone in his voice and how he said it.’
‘He couldn’t remember my husband’s name,’ she added. ‘The only way he remembered my husband’s name is because he told me he had my husband’s report in front of him and that’s when he actually said ‘La David.’ I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name. And that’s what hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?’
After her comments, Trump tweeted: ‘I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!’
The other recording Newman revealed, on ABC’s ‘The View,’ appears to be about Clinton’s possible role financing the unverified Christopher Steele dossier that contends Russia has blackmail information on Trump, which the president has denied.
The Washington Post reported on October 24, 2017 that attorney Marc Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained Fusion GPS to work on the dossier.
Elias represented the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
On the recording, Trump speaks of how the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign seems to have turned to Clinton’s involvement in the notorious dossier.
‘I think Hillary’s getting killed now with Russia,’ he says.
‘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 replied: ‘Closer to six.’
Hicks is then heard saying: ‘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 jumped back in: ‘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.’
He also said since the money was spent through a law firm, it usually can’t be traced back to who funded the work.
It’s definitely illegal and it’s illegal from a campaign stand point, from a campaign financing stand point. So the whole Russia thing, I think, seems to have turned around. What do you think Sarah?’
Sanders replied: ‘Absolutely.’
The transcript does not have a precise date but the discussion in it suggests no reason not to accept what Manigault-Newman says about it being October 2017.
Fusion GPS commissioned former British spy Christopher Steele to write the dossier on Trump at the bequest of the conservative news outlet The Washington Free Beacon, which was funded by a Republican donor supporting Marco Rubio’s presidential bid.
The outlet stopped paying for the work in May 2016 when Trump cinched the GOP nomination. Elias and his firm Perkins Coie stepped in and paid Fusion GPS through October 2016 to continue.
The unverified dossier alleges the Russians have information they could use to blackmail the president, including an allegation – which Trump has denied – that he hired ‘a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him’ when he was in Moscow for the pageant.
Perkins Coie’s role was revealed because the law firm sent a letter to Fusion GPS, telling the research firm it was released from a client-confidentiality agreement. The letter was the result of a legal fight over a subpoena for Fusion GPS’s bank records.
The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, The Post reported, citing campaign finance records. The DNC paid the firm $3.6 million since November 2015.
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Source: Daily Mail