By Christian Holub
August 13, 2018 at 01:08 PM EDT
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  • TV Show

Omarosa Manigault Newman was fired from her White House job back in December, but according to a recorded conversation she played on the Today show Monday, President Donald Trump didn’t even know about the firing until after it had already happened.

“Omarosa, what’s going on?” Trump can be heard asking on the recording. “I just saw on the news that you’re thinking of leaving? What happened?”

“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Manigault Newman replied.

“Nobody even told me about it,” Trump said. “You know they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Goddamn it. I don’t love you leaving at all.”

One reason for the president’s ignorance may have been that Manigault Newman was actually fired by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly during a meeting in the Situation Room — ostensibly for her apparently unethical use of government vehicles. The Today interview was the latest stop on Manigault Newman’s media blitz to promote her new book Unhinged, about her experience working in the Trump White House. On a previous stop at Meet the Press on Sunday, Manigault Newman played excerpts of her meeting with Kelly that she had recorded. Her Today interviewer Savannah Guthrie wanted to know how she could have secretly recorded a meeting in the highly-secure Situation Room, but Manigault Newman said only, “I’ll leave that to your imagination.”

Manigault Newman’s most explosive claim is that she has evidence of the president using racial epithets like the N-word. When pushed on this by Guthrie, she claimed that there was a recording of Trump saying it in reference to “some African Americans in the production during the course of The Apprentice, which is unacceptable.” She did not play that recording on the show.

In response to Manigault Newman’s accusations, White House officials like press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have denounced the book as “riddled with lies.” President Trump himself even weighed in shortly after the Today broadcast, tweeting, “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 and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible.”

The venomous enmity between people who were working closely together less than a year ago is somewhat staggering to behold. Guthrie pushed Manigault on this, asking why she worked for Trump at all when she’s now calling him a liar. Manigault Newman responded by trying to take control of the interview, chiding Guthrie for asking several questions at once and then saying that while she knew the president was an exaggerator and entertainer, “I never expected him to lie to the American people.”

Check out the full interview above, complete with the Trump recording.

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