On Sunday, Omarosa Manigault Newman released a recording she made of her firing from the White House by John Kelly on December 12, 2017. Yesterday, she released another recording between herself and Donald Trump recorded from a telephone call the following day. As you might know, Newman is peddling her tell-all book about her time at the White House. Whether you believe Omarosa or think she’s taking advantage to peddle her book, there are some takeaways from the recordings that I’m going to point out today.
The first obvious take away is that during the controversy over the firing of James Comey, Comey commented about possible tapes; “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” Donald Trump later said that there were no tapes. There may be no tapes about the Comey firing, but there are plenty of surreptitiously recordings of Donald Trump.
First, there are the recordings that Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen made of Trump. Now, there are recordings that Omarosa made. Thus, the question that needs to be asked is what is it about Donald Trump that encourages people close to him to record him? Also, in that vein, what kind of people does Trump surround himself with that make secret recordings of their meetings with him.
Think about that. How many of you have been secretly recorded by someone you believed was close to you? Someone you trusted?
If you haven’t listened to the tapes, take a moment to hear the words with your own ears so that we can discuss what they mean. I’ve enhanced (sweetened) the recordings so that the dialog is easier to understand. There are three tapes. The first one was recorded by Omarosa at the White House during her meeting with John Kelly on December 12, 2017. The second tape was also recorded by Omarosa the following day. It is a recording of her telephone call with Donald Trump. The last snippet is Trump’s reaction to finding out Omarosa made recordings.
The Omarosa tapes of her firing gives us some interesting things to discuss. Let’s look at them:
The first thing you’ll note is that John Kelly met with Omarosa with lawyers present. The first recording insinuates that this was the first meeting between Omarosa and Kelly. You’ll note that Omarosa tried to introduce her “assistant” at the start of the meeting to which Kelly curtly responded that the assistant should leave the meeting. Omarosa also states later in the recording that this was first time she had an opportunity to meet with Kelly.
However, the most important takeaway from the meeting is that Kelly is accusing Omarosa about “serious” issues, involving money and cars. Kelly refers to the issues as “integrity issues.” The recording does not identify the issues directly, but Kelly refers to them as something that could lead to a “court martial” if she were in the military. As Kelly states it, those are serious accusations.
Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” which many took to mean to getting rid of people lining their pockets at the expense of the taxpayers by the swamp. Trump supporters also argued that Trump would not be the typical politician and sweep things under the rug.
Yet, John Kelly is telling Omarosa to leave the White House quietly and no one would be the wiser of her transgressions. Some readers would be tempted to argue that quietly firing someone instead of disciplining them for alleged transgressions and crimes saves the taxpayers because it avoids litigation.
But, that’s a politico’s excuse for covering up for corruption. In the business world it is common to avoid litigation but in the public sector it only emboldens wrongdoers by letting them know they can quietly leave without serious ramifications. After all, it is taxpayers’ monies and not Trump’s money.
To be clear, there have been no investigations of wrongdoing by Omarosa as of yesterday.
Regardless, the coverup of wrongdoing should worry all taxpayers.
Of course, as Trump has been known to do, there are always threats to remain quiet.
Kelly delivers his own threat by saying to Omarosa that he can “make it ugly for you”.
Of course, threats are usually followed by the carrot.
In Kelly’s words:
“If we make this a friendly departure…we can look at your time here at the White House…as a year of service to the nation…you can go on without any type of difficulty relative to your reputation.”
Of course, there is the coverup:
Omarosa should understand that there are “very, very important serious legal issues that have been violated…you are open to some legal action…we hope that we can control”
In other words, go away quietly and the White House will not prosecute Omarosa for “serious legal issues.”
So much for draining the swamp.
Before we move on to the next recording it is important to point out something about the failure of the Trump Administration – security. Press reports say that the Omarosa-Kelly recording was created at the White House Situation Room. It is supposed to be one of the most secure rooms in America and yet Omarosa was not only able to sneak in a recording device on the day she was going to fired for “ethical” shortcomings but her recording demands the question of how many other recordings have been made of the Situation Room and have any found their way to the nation’s enemies? More importantly, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation is Trump running that Omarosa could sneak in a recording device in.
The next recording, also provided by Omarosa, is a recording of a telephone call between her and Donald Trump the day after Omarosa was fired.
It is difficult to ascertain from the recording whether Trump knew that Omarosa was fired, although Trump insinuates he had no knowledge of it. Let’s play this out.
If Donald Trump knew that Omarosa was fired he may have pretended not to know to save face, protect himself from Omarosa’s reactions in public or both. Regardless, if Trump did not know Omarosa had been fired then that runs counter to someone who pretends to be an executive in full control of what goes on around him.
My take is that Trump knew about the firing and that the phone call was imply CYA and damage control.
Regardless, it does not bode well for a cleansing of the corruption at the government that Donald Trump ran on.
The final recording is from Trump’s reaction to finding out that Omarosa released the recording of her firing.
Trump calls her a “low life”.
This, after saying he would only hire the best people for the White House.
This latest tape indicates to me that there are many more tapes that will soon come out. All of them, in my opinion, will prove what I already know about Donald Trump – that he is a despicable human being.