Trump claims that 'Apprentice' producer Mark Burnett confirms no racist-slur tape exists in latest Omarosa attack

The President Trump vs. Omarosa Manigault Newman feud wages on.

Trump has taken to Twitter to slam his former White House aide’s claim that she heard him using a racist slur on a tape from his time on the NBC reality show The Apprentice. Manigault Newman, who is promoting her new book, Unhinged, also accused Trump of “absolutely” being a liar during her Today appearance Monday morning.

Former <i>Apprentice</i> and White House colleagues Omarosa Manigault Newman and Donald Trump in 2010. (Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Former Apprentice and White House colleagues Omarosa Manigault Newman and Donald Trump in 2010. (Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Trump — who has already called Manigault Newman a “lowlife” — first responded to her eyebrow-raising appearances on Today and Hardball with a series of tweets calling her “nasty” and “not smart.” Despite Manigault Newman’s secret audio recording that has the president appearing to express disappointment over her firing last December, Trump now says chief of staff John Kelly was right to dismiss her from the White House.

Hours later, Trump returned to Twitter to specifically strike down Manigault Newman’s claims that a tape of him using a “terrible and disgusting” racial slur on the set of The Apprentice exists. He cited the show’s producer, Mark Burnett, who also produces Survivor and The Voice.

Trump’s tweets were immediately mocked by actor Tom Arnold, who has claimed to have the alleged tape. Arnold also said he had statements from former Apprentice staffers supporting reports that Trump used racist slurs, and he claims that Burnett has told him Trump is a “liar.”

The White House has since issued a longer statement, via senior Trump official Lynne Patton, disputing Manigault Newman’s claims. The statement cites former Apprentice producer (and “mutual friend”) Bill Pruitt, who denies that there is a tape — let alone that he played it for Manigault Newman.

Manigault Newman slammed Trump during appearances Monday on <i>Today</i> and <i>Hardball</i>. (Photo: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Manigault Newman slammed Trump during appearances Monday on Today and Hardball. (Photo: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“My name is Lynne Patton and I am a senior official in the Trump Administration,” the statement begins.

“White House leadership, both past and present, can confirm that I was the closest confidante & friend to Ms. Manigault-Newman during her tenure at the White House, Transition and Campaign — texting and speaking multiple times per day.

“To that end, Omarosa attempted to contact me just two days ago, but I refused to accept her call.

“Like Ms. Manigault-Newman, I have also known and worked for both the president and his family for over a decade and am confident that they would collectively confirm that I know them far better than she.

“To be clear, at no time did I participate in a conference call with Katrina Pierson advising me, Jason Miller, and Omarosa Manigault-Newman that Frank Luntz had heard President Donald J. Trump use a derogatory racial term — a claim that Luntz himself has also denied.

“What I can confirm is the following:

“On December 12, 2017, at approximately 11:30PM (EST) — a date I now know to be the evening Omarosa was relieved of her official duties by General Kelly — I received a telephone call from her informing me that she had personally heard a second-hand recording of President Trump using the ‘N-word’ in a derogatory fashion.

“She proceeded to tell me the full name of the individual who played this second-hand tape for her, from whom the primary audio tape had originated, as well as the specific context of the president’s usage of this term and to whom the derogatory term was allegedly directed.

“Omarosa also proceeded to inform me that she had officially submitted her resignation to General Kelly and that I should promptly do the same before the audio surfaced.

“The next morning, I immediately notified senior communications officials and a Trump family member of the same, only to discover the true nature of her departure was termination.

“Today, the individual who Omarosa confirmed to me as having played the second-hand audio recording to her last year confirmed that they have no tape, never had possession of a tape, never claimed to have possession of a tape, and never played such a tape for Ms. Manigault-Newman.

“Tonight, on the MSNBC program Hardball, Omarosa revealed to the general public what she had told me last December: That former Apprentice producer, Bill Pruitt, was the original source of the ‘N-word’ tape.

“Bill Pruitt is a mutual friend.

“I just spoke to Bill Pruitt tonight before releasing this statement.

“He confirmed to me (before Hardball had even gone off the air) that he does NOT have an audio tape of President Trump using the ‘N-word’ and has NEVER had an audio tape of President Trump using the ‘N-word.’ Period.

“Suffice it to say that the past few weeks have been wrought with disappointment, immense sadness, anger, and outright disgust.

“Based upon her conflicting accounts and the newfound information revealed in my statement, it should be abundantly clear to everyone that not only is her book a complete work of fiction, but that the existence of this elusive ‘N-word’ tape is a figment of her imagination and merely a destructive tool of manipulation applied only when it best serves her interests.

“Like countless other minorities and women, the president has given me the opportunity of a lifetime to rise up through the ranks of The Trump Organization and now proudly serve this country.

“Therefore, unless directed otherwise, this will be my only statement on this baseless accusation and imaginary audio tape, as falsely claimed by a former friend.

“My primary and sole focus remains the low-income and public housing residents of New York and New Jersey, as the president would expect it to be — and as the president has hired me to do.”

Will that be that — or should we brace ourselves for another round?

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