White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday defended President Donald Trump calling former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman “a dog,” saying the President was “voicing his frustration” in response to Manigault Newman’s “complete lack of integrity.”
Asked why Trump had hired Manigault Newman for a senior White House position at all, Sanders responded: “The President wanted to give her a chance, and he made clear when General Kelly came on and he voiced concerns that this individual didn’t have the best interest of the White House, and the President and the country at heart, the President said, ‘Do what you can to get along, and if you can’t,’ he gave him full authority to carry out the decision to let her go.”
That seemed to be an attempt at answering a secret recording Manigault Newman made — and has now released publicly to promote her new book — of Trump reacting to her firing.
“Goddamnit!” Trump is heard saying in a recorded phone call with Manigault Newman after Kelly fired her. “I don’t love you leaving at all.”
“As to the fact, whether or not General Kelly had called the President, I don’t think he had at that point,” Sanders said later, explaining why Trump could claim he wasn’t aware of Manigault Newman’s firing.