The Trump campaign has filed an arbitration action against former campaign and White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman over her alleged breach of a nondisclosure agreement she signed in 2016, several outlets have reported.
Manigault Newman has a new tell-all book out about her time in the White House, and she’s promoted it by releasing new, secretly made recordings of her firing by White House chief of staff John Kelly, a call from President Donald Trump the day after her firing, and a campaign-era discussion with campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson and then-Trump family adviser Lynne Patton. She reportedly has other recordings, including of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
An unnamed senior Trump campaign official quoted by ABC News and the Washington Examiner said in a statement: “Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. has filed an arbitration against Manigault-Newman with the American Arbitration Association in New York City, for breach of her 2016 confidentiality agreement with the Trump Campaign. President Trump is well known for giving people opportunities to advance in their careers and lives over the decades, but wrong is wrong, and a direct violation of an agreement must be addressed and the violator must be held accountable.”
“It is the American Arbitration Association’s policy not to comment on any arbitrations that may have been administered by the Association,” Laura Simpson of the communications firm JConnelly told TPM.
It’s unclear what specifically the arbitration alleges. The recording Manigault Newman released Tuesday, of Pierson and Patton, includes a discussion of an alleged tape in which Trump uses a slur for African Americans. Though no one on the call claimed to have heard the tape at the time (Manigault Newman has subsequently claimed to have heard it), Pierson is heard saying at one point on the call: “He said it. He is embarrassed.”
The President has responded predictably to Manigault Newman’s book and recordings, calling her “lowlife” and “a dog.”
He also revealed, as did White House staffer Kellyanne Conway on Sunday, the existence of a nondisclosure agreement that White House staffers must sign. The agreement is unenforceable and unconstitutional, experts say, but NDAs for campaign staffers are a different story.
Manigault Newman said Sunday that she’d rejected a $15,000 monthly salary from the 2020 Trump campaign, which she said would have required her to sign a strict nondisclosure agreement.
This post has been updated.