The Republican Party is devoting a lot of energy to discrediting Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice contestant and senior White House adviser to President Trump who is promoting a new White House tell-all, Unhinged. "Who in their right mind thinks it's appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the Situation Room?" asked Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Sunday. That's a good question. Some other ones: Who thought it was a good idea to hire her at the White House in the first place? What did she do to earn her $179,700 government salary? And why did she last a year? The answer to that last question appears to be, in part, fear.
"I'm scared sh-tless of her," one male former colleague tells Axios' Jonathan Swan. "She's a physically intimidating presence. ... I'm afraid of her. I'm afraid of getting my ass kicked." Other former officials concurred. "One hundred percent, everyone was scared of her," one told Swan, while another said, laughing: "She knows media, she knows about physical presence, like Trump does ... that's why I think he's rattled. ... She's out-Trumping Trump right now." Maybe that's one reason the chaos-encouraging Trump hired her, as this accurate 2013 tweet hints:
But it's not just Manigault Newman's physical presence and savvy that has former allies worried: She appears to have the goods to back up some of her allegations. "I don't know what tapes she has on me," one former colleague told Politico. There's at least "one indication that the Trump White House is concerned about what Manigault Newman knows," says The Atlantic's Vernon Loeb: Trump's campaign offered her $15,000 a month to work for the campaign, on the condition she sign a nondisclosure and no-disparagement agreement about her time at the White House. "It is, it now seems, way too late for that," Loeb notes.