Lordy, they have tapes: Secret tapes in Trump orbit not new

This image released by NBC Today shows reality TV personality and former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman during an interview on the "Today" show on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in New York. Manigault Newman was promoting her book "Unhinged." (Zach Pagano/NBC via AP)

WASHINGTON — Lordy, there are tapes. And tapes and tapes and more tapes.

Omarosa Manigault Newman’s former colleagues say they are shocked that she secretly recorded private conversations with President Donald Trump and his chief of staff.

But surreptitious tapes in Trump’s world are nothing new, with the president himself once suggesting he secretly recorded fired FBI Director James Comey (who responded by saying : “Lordy, I hope there are tapes”). Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen has his own cache of recordings, too.

Here’s what to know about the latest White House tapes and why they matter:


Trump on Monday called Manigault Newman “wacky,” but he clearly thought highly enough of her to give her a top post at his White House following his election.

A former contestant on his TV show “The Apprentice,” Manigault Newman became an assistant to the president, earning $179,000 a year as director of communications for the White House office of public liaison.

She lasted shy of one year, getting escorted off White House grounds in December 2017. (Manigault Newman later joined the cast of the reality TV show “Celebrity Big Brother,” where she tearfully told a fellow contestant that the nation is “not going to be OK” under Trump.)

Now promoting a new book, Manigault Newman has released a recording of White House chief of staff John Kelly accusing her of “significant integrity issues” and saying, “If we make this a friendly departure … you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.”

In another recording that Manigault Newman says was taken the next day, Trump can be heard saying he was surprised and disappointed that she was leaving the White House: “Nobody even told me about it … I don’t love you leaving at all.”