Omarosa in big trouble after "threatening national security" by taping her dismissal in ultra-secure Situation Room
White House said her termination for alleged ethical violations was handled appropriately and that she violated security protocols by taping John Kelly in the Situation Room.
The Trump administration is going after former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman after she put out an audio recording of her firing in the maximum-security Situation Room, violating several regulations that could sabotage national security. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a dinnertime statement: "The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security – and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee."
NBC News, which received the recording from Manigault Newman, broadcast it during its "Meet the Press" interview with her. One of the voices identified in the audio is that of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who told Manigault Newman she was being relieved of her duties in the White House due to "serious integrity violations".
According to Kelly, the issues surrounded taxpayer money and the inappropriate usage of government vehicles. Omarosa then requests to speak with the president regarding her dismissal, which Kelly strikes down saying the decision is "non-negotiable".
Omarosa became notorious on national television after her gig as a back-stabbing contestant on Trump's "The Apprentice". On Sunday, in a bid to promote her "revealing" book, she claimed Kelly threatened her reputation during their conversation in the Situation Room, reported Daily Mail.
"I think it’s important to understand that if we make this a friendly departure we can all be – you know, you can look at, look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation," the retired general said. "And then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future, relative to your reputation."
The reality TV star said she viewed Kelly's comment as a "threat" and made the sneaky recording as a form of "self-preservation".
"If I didn't have these recordings, no one in America would believe me," she said Sunday
Allies of the president pounced on Omarosa's admission and upheld that she threatened national security by doing what she did. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel tweeted: "Who in their right mind thinks it’s appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?"
"Secretly recording conversations in the Situation Room isn't just wildly inappropriate, it's a threat to our national security," McDaniel added. "If she broke federal law, she should be prosecuted."
The RNC's said on Twitter: "Omarosa will clearly say anything to make a buck. It’s obvious that no one should believe a word she says."
In a conversation with The Daily Beast, national security lawyer Bradley Moss said that "[p]rotocol absolutely dictates you place that phone into the lockers right outside the Situation Room. I’ve put my cell phones in similar lockers at government facilities. It’s non-negotiable."
While visitors in the White House are thoroughly screened, Moss said that the in-house personnel operates on an honor system, which Manigault Newman "clearly violated ... and it is clear she deliberately meant to do so."