Omarosa Manigault shared one of her much-talked-about White House recordings with Meet the Press viewers on Sunday.
When Manigault was fired from her White House post in Dec. 2017, she recorded her sitdown with Gen. John Kelly, Donald Trump's chief of staff, who broke the news. The meeting happened in the White House Situation Room, located in the West Wing's basement.
Manigault claims to have made multiple recordings during her time in the White House — transcripts of which appear in her upcoming book, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House. This Kelly recording is the first one she's actually shared publicly.
Hear it here:
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 12, 2018
In her Meet the Press interview with host Chuck Todd, Manigault took issue with a comment Kelly made about how "the staff works for me, not the president." She saw it as a reflection of Trump not being in command of his own White House, but Todd quickly pointed out that Kelly's assertion isn't an unusual stance for a White House chief of staff to take.
The truly troubling thing about the tape, as an alarmed Twitter quickly picked up on, is that it exists at all. The White House Situation Room is one of the most secure locations on the planet. It's where the U.S. executive leadership huddles to deal with crises and conduct sensitive meetings.
As someone who spent a fair amount of time in the Situation Room, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how insane this is https://t.co/OC3Z8I0FKO
— Ilan Goldenberg (@ilangoldenberg) August 12, 2018
the most important space to our command and security control apparatus was infiltrated by a vindictive reality TV show star and her iPhone. this is twisted and should cause grave nat'l security concerns for all Americans. imagine the level of scandal if there were *any* other WH
— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) August 12, 2018
If Omarosa carried for example a cellphone into the Situation Room, then not only did she record conversations there, but so potentially has any country or criminal organization that thought to hack her phone
— David Frum (@davidfrum) August 12, 2018
How does @OMAROSA get an unsecured cell phone into the Situation Room? What is wrong with these folks in the White House?
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) August 12, 2018
Trump rode to victory by attacking his opponent’s private email server as a national security risk—while his campaign was actively conspiring with the Russian government and later was so negligent that Omarosa could apparently bring an unsecured phone into the Situation Room. https://t.co/JdylNHxgHv
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 12, 2018
Omarosa says she was fired by Kelly in the situation room which is a SCIF - how did she take her phone or a recording device in there? If this indeed happened in the situation room this is a major breach. https://t.co/j9dudqcl5H
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 12, 2018
It’s nothing short of stunning that an employee was able to sneak a smartphone into the Situation Room — the SCIF of all SCIFs - and surreptitiously record a conversation. #MeetThePress
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) August 12, 2018
I know a lot of folks discussing the rules for the situation room. But it is clear across the board that there is no security culture at the WH. It begins with Trump's phone. That Omarosa did this is really not surprising. Security only as strong as leadership enforces. https://t.co/PenIhdtVP7
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) August 12, 2018
I worked in the @WhiteHouse for 4 years. I went to countless Situation Room meetings. I don't remember 1 that had a cell phone in it. There are specific places to drop electronics, for a reason. Bringing electronics into a secure space means it is no longer secure.
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) August 12, 2018