To those itching to get rid of Donald Trump either through impeachment or use of the constitution’s 25th amendment, former Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman has some sobering views – Mike Pence, the man who would replace him, is worse.
The 44-year-old onetime reality television favourite who then served in Mr Trump’s administration, made the claim in a brief encounter with journalists near Radio City Hall in New York.
Ms Manigault Newman, who is busy promoting her book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, was asked by TMZ which of the top White House executives was worse – the president or the vice president? “Pence,” she shouted, before being driven away in a black SUV.
In her book, Ms Manigault Newman claims to have heard of the existence of a recording, apparently made in the set of The Apprentice, when Mr Trump used a racial slur – one of many things in the book the White House has denied.
“It had finally sunk in that the person I’d thought I’d known so well for so long was actually a racist,” Ms Manigault Newman wrote. “Using the N-word was not just the way he talks but, more disturbing, it was how he thought of me and African-Americans as a whole.”
She said after she was forced to resign her job in the communications department at the end of 2017 by chief of staff John Kelly, she was contacted by Mr Trump’s daughter in law, Lara Trump, with an offer to work for the Trump 2020 campaign at a salary of $15,000 per month. In exchange, she was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“I turned down the president’s offer to work for the 2020 campaign. In my response declining the position, I explained that I was not interested in working for his campaign, his company, his family, or for him directly in any capacity,” she wrote.
After the books release, White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said: “Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations.”
She added: “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.”
Ms Manigault Newman, who released a series of tapes containing conversation she had with Mr Trump to try and prove her proximity to the Oval Office, has faced criticism from a number of African American commentators for not doing more to raise the issues of racial discrimination while she was working in the White House and for taking a job with a man many to believe to be avowedly racist.
Her book is one of several insider accounts that portrayed a chaotic and dysfunctional environment inside the White House. This week, veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s latest tome, Fear: Trump in the White House, hits bookstores and claims many senior members of the administration have little faith in the president.
Mr Trump was also infuriated by the publication of an anonymous op-ed by the New York Times, claiming to have been written by a senior member of his administration, which claimed a “resistance” of people within the government was working to try and counter the president’s worst instincts.
It said the people had briefly considered using the 25th amendment of the constitution, which allows for a succession process in circumstances of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation. The measure was introduced after the 1963 assassination of John F Kennedy, and in the line of succession the seat would be filled by the vice president, then the Speaker of the House.
Ms Manigault Newman told ABC News she believed Mr Pence was already planning a move on the Oval Office and that the writer of the op-ed was likely his senior aide, Nick Ayers, something that his office has denied.
Mr Pence, one of dozens of senior officials who have issued statements denying they wrote the article, told reporters: “I’m 100 per cent confident that no one on the vice president’s staff was involved in this anonymous editorial. I know my people.”