In a candid interview in Australia, Omarosa Manigault Newman, the one-time confidante of Donald Trump, said that during her time in the White House, the former president asked her opinion on defence matters and revealed classified information on the bombing of Syria.
She also said that during a visit to the opening of a civil rights museum that she had arranged he seemed fascinated by a display of costumes used by the Ku Klux Klan.
Speaking to presenters in a TikTok video from the Australian version of the reality TV show Big Brother, Ms Newman said that Mr Trump would often ask her for her advice on topics that she had “no business advising him on”.
The Syria incident seemed particularly jarring to her as he informed her that he had decided to go through with a strike on the country, but that she did not have the classification to know such a fact due to the risk to national security.
“I removed myself from the room … because I did not have the classification level. And so I bounced and said Donald I’m out. You should really talk to your advisers,” Ms Newman said.
“You just try to contain Donald, because there’s just so much work to be done,” she added.
She explained that Mr Trump was used to running his own company and having a small group of people around him and in the early days of his presidency he wanted familiar faces around such as her, having known him for almost 15 years at that point.
Ms Newman said that the former president would call her into the Oval Office and ask her about veterans’ affairs or what was going on at the Pentagon, and she would repeatedly suggest he should call the secretaries of defence or state.
The then-president would respond: “No, just tell me what you think,” she claimed.
Ms Newman was asked about the circumstances around her firing by Mr Trump and departure from the White House.
She said she was organising the opening of the civil rights museum in Jackson, Mississippi, and “it didn’t go so well, because he was fascinated at looking at the KKK garbs”.
“He was obsessed with the white supremacist display,” recalled Ms Newman. “And it was kind of one of those moments where I thought ‘holy cow, who is this person?’ He is not the person I met back in New York at Trump Tower in 2003. This was a different person I was talking with.”
Watching remotely, the Big Brother housemates were aghast at Ms Newman’s revelations. They included Trump-supporter Caitlyn Jenner who recently failed in a run for governor of California.
After departing the White House just a year into the presidency, Ms Newman wrote an explosive tell-all book about her time with Mr Trump called Unhinged.
A characteristic Twitter rant was subsequently unleashed by the then-president.
“When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out,” Mr Trump wrote. “Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
In an earlier tweet, he referred to her as “wacky” and “deranged” for claiming there were tapes of him saying the N-word during the filming of The Apprentice, prior to his political career.
In late September Mr Trump lost his fight to enforce a nondisclosure agreement with Ms Newman over her tell-all book. An arbitrator agreed with his former adviser that an NDA she signed during the 2016 presidential campaign was “invalid under New York contract law.”
Since the ruling against the NDA, Ms Newman has again been outspoken about what she knows from her time in the Trump inner circle.
In early October, she told Reverend Al Sharpton in an interview on MSNBC that the former president needs to “come forward and talk about his health” and that she doesn’t believe he will be healthy enough to run again in 2024.