WASHINGTON – The latest tape from former Donald Trump associate Omarosa Manigault Newman finds her and three 2016 campaign officials discussing the possibility of a tape in which Trump supposedly uses a racial slur.
"He said it; he is embarrassed by it," campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson could be heard saying on the tape played Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," though the comment came during a discussion of how to potentially spin audio that none of the participants had heard.
While Manigault Newman has claimed within the last week that she has heard the tape, no audio has publicly surfaced with Trump using the "n" word. The president has denied saying it.
Rumors about a racist tape, supposedly from outtakes of Trump's old television program "The Apprentice," surfaced during the last month of the 2016 presidential campaign.
In a Monday night tweet, Trump said television producer Mark Burnett "called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up."
At the time, Trump campaign aides did express concern about a racist tape, especially after the release of tapes in which the New York businessman could be heard talking about grabbing and forcing himself upon women.
In her book, "Unhinged: An Insiders Account of the Trump White House," Manigault Newman writes about a phone conference with Pierson; Lynne Patton, then-assistant to Eric Trump, and campaign communications director Jason Miller.
The book described Patton saying Trump denied using racist language. "He goes, how do you think I should handle it? And I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you are talking about. And he said, well, why don't you just go ahead and put it to bed?"
Per the book, Pierson then interjected: "He said. No, he said it. He is embarrassed by it."
During an interview Monday on Fox News, Pierson denied the conference call itself.
"That did not happen," she said. "Sounds like she is writing a script for a movie."
In a statement Tuesday, Pierson said the tape reflected a conversation held largely to placate Manigault Newman.
"During the 2016 campaign, we heard rumors about an alleged tape from 'The Apprentice,'" Pierson said. "It’s clear now that those rumors were always being circulated by Omarosa and her alone."
In her book, Manigault Newman said has not heard the tape of Trump using racial language. But during her book tour, she said she has heard it since the book went to press.
Patton said she has never denied meetings about rumors of a racist tape, but she never confirmed its existence.
"Nice try, @OMAROSA," Patton tweeted. "We never disputed we had multiple conversations about the alleged “Apprentice” tape b/c you were obsessed with it."
Asked on "CBS This Morning" why she would record campaign officials without their knowledge, Manigault Newman said, "Because the truth matters ... And if I didn't have this tape, you all would probably be wondering if, in fact, they did talk about it."