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Trump trash-talks Omarosa as allegations of racism emerge

Donald Trump unleashed a full range of insults and attacks against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman

world Updated: Aug 16, 2018 07:40 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Washington
donald trump,omarosa,omarisa manigault newman
Donald Trump’s choice of words have raised questions about whether he tends to target the African-American community(REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump unleashed a full range of insults and attacks against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, calling her “that dog” and “lowlife”.

“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. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, referring to his chief of staff John Kelly, who had fired Manigault Newman in December, citing integrity issues.

However, Trump’s choice of words have raised questions about whether he tends to target the African-American community, given a string of recent episodes — he has cast doubts over the intelligence of basketball star LeBron James, called CNN anchor Don Lemon “dumb”, and said Maxine Waters — a Democratic lawmaker from California — has “extraordinarily low IQ”.

Asked at Tuesday’s White House news briefing if the attacks on Manigault Newman fit a pattern of targeting African Americans, Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sander said: “This has absolutely nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the president calling out someone’s lack of integrity. The idea that you would only point a few of the things that the president has said negative about people that are minorities... the fact is, the president is an equal opportunity person that calls things like he sees it.”

Trump has also used the word “dog” for non-blacks, such as Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington. And he has a history of insulting people — especially women — based on their looks and on other physical characteristics, and has even targeted physical infirmities.

The attacks on Manigault Newman, the White House has thus argued, fit a pattern of Trump punching back when attacked, irrespective of the race or gender of the target.

Manigault Newman, in her tell-all book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account Of The Trump White House, has alleged Trump frequently uses the racial slur “n****r”, without citing evidence to substantiate it. She has also called him “racist, misogynist and bigot”.

In interviews promoting the book, she has said she secretly recorded her conversations in the White House, releasing two tapes. The first conversation she released was when Kelly fired her in the Situation Room — considered to be most secure place in the White House.

Trump and his aides have said Manigault Newman might be in violation of a non-disclosure agreement that all Trump White House staffers have to sign, which experts have said are non-enforceable on government employees. But the Trump campaign has launched arbitration proceedings against her for speaking of her time on the campaign, the candidate’s outreach to the African-American community.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 07:30 IST