Trump administration official Omarosa Manigault revealed that a dispute with a White House reporter last week had been recorded.
American Urban Radio Networks reporter, April Ryan, who said she was “physically intimidated” by Manigault during a nasty encounter just outside the Oval Office last week, was not aware that she was being recorded, the Washington Post reported.
“This is . . . Nixonian”: Reporter was taped by White House in heated exchange https://t.co/LaCYB712oc
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 15, 2017
“I didn’t know she was taping it,” she said. “This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.”
Manigault, director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, said the White House’s press staff recorded the exchange. She pointed out that the video proves she never threatened Ryan as the reporter maintained.
After last week’s incident, Ryan claimed Manigault “stood right up in my face like she was going to hit me” and told her the White House had “dossiers” on her.
But Manigault denied the allegation and said the video vindicates her.
“She came in hot,” hurling insults at her, Manigault said, according to the Post. “She came in with an attitude. For her to characterize me as the bully — I’m so glad we have this tape … because it’s ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’ ” she said.
Under the District of Columbia’s “one-party consent” law, making the recording of a phone call or conversation if one person in the conversation consents is legal. However, it would be illegal to record both parties if neither consented.
According to the Post:
Manigault, who appeared as a contestant on Trump’s reality shows “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” asserted that White House press staff regularly records interviews between reporters and officials. “We do it all the time,” she said. “When you come into [the press staff’s offices], you’re on the record.”
Several veteran White House reporters said interviews are sometimes recorded by officials but that it was unheard of to do so without a reporter’s prior knowledge.
Manigault said “a colleague,” whom she didn’t identify, made the recording of her encounter with Ryan.
“She wants to spin it like it’s a catfight, but she edited that tape,” Ryan said, claiming Manigault “selected pieces” of their encounter. “You don’t hear her screaming. This is about her smearing me.”
Among those who heard the recording on Tuesday was Fox News White House reporter John Roberts who, in an email, said that some parts were hard to hear and understand fully. Though he heard accusations and terse words between the women, there was no apparent confrontation and he never heard the word ‘dossier’ used, the Post reported.