As the shocking claims from Omarosa Manigault Newman‘s new book about President Donald Trump continue to make headlines, his camp is firing back. On Tuesday, the president’s campaign announced it has filed for arbitration against the former White House aide for allegedly breaching a 2016 nondisclosure agreement, according to CNN.
“Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. has filed an arbitration against Omarosa Manigault Newman, with the American Arbitration Association in New York City, for breach of her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the Trump Campaign,” a Trump campaign official said in a statement to CNN.
Manigault Newman’s attorney, John Phillips, told PEOPLE in a statement: “At this time, we haven’t seen any legal action and don’t have a comment on it. Her legal team will address these matters appropriately as they arise.
The suit is the latest move in a counterattack that Trump and his team are waging against Manigault Newman, whose new book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, came out Tuesday. In it, she not only reveals her suspicions that Trump is in a “mental decline,” but also delves deep into Trump’s family drama.
Manigault Newman, 44, claims that Trump is “rough” on his children and was furious at son Donald Trump Jr. after he voluntarily released emails about his Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
But the alleged “rough” treatment of his eldest son started long before Trump’s presidential campaign and often took place in front of others during filming of The Apprentice, Manigault Newman claims.
“Don Jr. had to submit to his father’s hazing as well. If Donald didn’t like Don Jr.’s assessment in the boardroom, he’d berate him in front of everyone, using words like wrong and stupid,” Manigault Newman writes. “Don Jr. was clearly terrified of his father.”
She continues, “People interpreted [Don Jr.’s] fear as complete and total respect and deference. I did. But now, I see the verbal abuse as a method of control. [Trump] was rough on them, so they tried even harder to please him and avoid further abuse.”
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This claim may not be shocking to people familiar with Trump family history. In her recent memoir, Raising Trump, the president’s first wife, Ivana — who is mom to Eric, Don Jr. and Ivanka — recalls Trump balking when she suggested naming their firstborn son Donald Jr. “What if he’s a loser?” Trump said, according to Ivana.
The White House has been on the counterattack even before the release of Manigault Newman’s book, which also includes claims that the president is in “mental decline” and that he can be heard using the “N-word” on an alleged tape recording from before his presidency. (The alleged recording has not been publicly released, but Manigault Newman says she has heard it.)
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying that the tell-all “is riddled with lies and false accusations,” adding that “it’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”
And within the past 24 hours, President Trump has taken to Twitter in a rage, tweeting that Newman, who was fired from her White House position in December 2017, is a “dog” and has “zero credibility.”
According to the book, Trump’s response to the news that his son had tweeted out the Trump Tower meeting email chain was just as brutal.
On July 11, 2017, Trump Jr. released the email correspondence between him and publicist Rob Goldstone, who offered to arrange a meeting with a “Russian government attorney.” Goldstone wrote that the attorney had information that could “incriminate” Hillary Clinton, according to CNN.
“If it’s what you say, I love it,” Trump Jr. wrote.
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In public, President Trump was supportive of his son’s transparency.
“Don is — as many of you know Don — he’s a good boy,” Trump said during an off-record chat the following day. “He’s a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting.”
But, in private, Manigault Newman writes that Trump’s reaction was entirely different. She describes approaching the president on the day the email chain came out and offering her condolences.
“I’m sorry to hear about Don,” she remembers telling Trump.
“He is such a f—up.” Trump said, according to Newman. “He screwed up again, but this time he’s screwing us all, big time!”