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Omarosa Manigault Newman’s ability to attract attention has never been questioned. Ahead of the Tuesday debut of her new tell-all book about her brief time in the White House, Unhinged, Newman put her talent for self-promotion on display, dominating the news cycle with a slow roll of revelations.
On Sunday, in her first appearance on television, Newman made waves on NBC’s Meet the Press by releasing an audio recording she surreptitiously made of Chief of Staff General John Kelly firing her. The recording immediately turned heads and overtook a somewhat slow weekend of news, fostering conversations both about the content of the tape and the legality of Manigault Newman sneaking a recording device into the Situation Room.
A day ahead of her launch, Manigault Newman kicked things up a notch Monday, providing NBC News with another secret recording, this one of President Donald Trump calling her a day after her firing and expressing both disbelief and frustration.
She provided another newsworthy tape to an interviewing outlet Tuesday morning, when she gave CBS News a recording of Trump campaign staffers discussing how to handle the fallout from the potential release of a tape of the president using the N-word. (Watch the appearance below.)
Beyond commanding the attention of the news media, Manigault Newman’s book has seemingly overtaken the White House, with both the president and his staff consumed with somewhat futile attempts to get ahead of the revelations and head off any reputational hit from the book.
Similar to how the White House responded to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury in January, the White House has lashed out at Newman, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders releasing multiple statements attempting to throw water on her claims by trashing her credibility. (Unlike with Wolff, however, the White House has not threatened to sue Newman or her publisher, Simon & Schuster.)
Her longtime patron, President Trump, has tweeted several times about Manigault Newman, calling her “wacky,” “vicious,” “not smart” and also referering to her as “that dog.” Showing a rare flicker of self-awareness, he tweeted Monday, “While I know it’s ‘not presidential’ to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!”
The early buzz appears to have paid off. By the end of Monday, Manigault Newman’s book ranked fifth on Amazon.com.
Manigault Newman’s publicity tour is only getting started. After NBC News and MSNBC on Monday morning, Manigault Newman made another appearance on MSNBC on Monday night, along with the PBS NewsHour. She appeared on CBS This Morning on Tuesday morning and will stop by The Daily Show With Trevor Noah on Tuesday night, Entertainment Tonight and Extra later in the week, and Jake Tapper’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.
According to Jennifer Robinson, who heads publicity for the Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books, Manigault Newman is not yet booked to appear on Fox News, not a huge surprise considering her turn away from the administration. A spokesperson for the network did not respond when asked if Manigault Newman would be asked to appear. Wolff, who blitzed television for months, never appeared on Fox News.
While Manigault Newman’s television appearances have helped promote the book by driving the news cycle, they haven’t all been smooth sailing.
She tussled with Today co-host Savannah Guthrie on Monday morning, at one point claiming that the interview had gone past the agreed-upon length. A source with knowledge of the interview said that, contrary to Manigault Newman’s claims, there was no set length for the interview. Earlier in the interview, Manigault Newman had asked Guthrie to slow down her questioning, saying that she had plenty of time.
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