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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Former White House employee Omarosa releases Trump tape

President Trump claims to have had no knowledge she was sacked by his chief of staff

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault (R) attend a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Reuters
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault (R) attend a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Reuters

Former White House staffer and TV celebrity Omarosa Manigault Newman has released a recording of a private conversation with President Donald Trump after she was fired.

NBC's "Today" program played the brief recording, in which President Trump claims to have had no knowledge that she was sacked by chief of staff John Kelly, and expresses regret at the news.

The recording is the latest volley from the disgruntled 44-year-old, once an ardent President Trump ally, and represents another stunning breach of trust.

It also appears to show a president who has little knowledge of what is happening inside his own White House – or who is willing to lie to avoid confrontation.

"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" he said, apparently unaware she had already been fired.

"Nobody even told me about it," President Trump is heard saying.

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"You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it".

He continues: "I didn't know that. Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all."

President Trump has already branded "Omarosa" – as she is commonly known – a "lowlife" after she released a recording of her firing by Kelly, seemingly recorded in the White House Situation Room.

President Trump came to office vowing to hire "only the best people" - but has struggled to put a lid on leaks, backbiting and scandal inside his White House.

Ms Manigault Newman, whose book "Unhinged" is out this week, suggested there was more to come, saying: "There's a lot of very corrupt things happening in the White House and I am going to blow the whistle on a lot of them".

President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on "Fox and Friends" Monday that Manigault Newman may have broken the law by recording private conversations at the White House.

When asked if she broke the law, Giuliani said: "She's certainly violating national security regulations, which I think have the force of law".