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Should the press take Omarosa's book seriously?

April Ryan, Indira Lakshmanan and Jeff Greenfield discuss the new book by exiled Trump aide Omarosa Manigault. While portions of the book have been corroborated by her tapes, there are also big errors, showcasing her credibility problems.

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 7:43 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 7:43 PM

We've entered a new plane of reality where the question of who secretly recorded President Donald Trump doing what without his knowledge has become an overriding theme of his presidency.

Release of secret tapes almost derailed his presidential campaign. Trump's obsession with the unfounded idea he was being wiretapped by former President Barack Obama, and his concern about rumors he was secretly videotaped by the Russians, now feed strangely into the development that he *actually* was secretly recorded by his lawyer and at least one aide.

And perhaps more incredible than the idea that heads of state would try to spy on each other is that the Trump era is indisputably a time in which a fix-it man dispatched to deal with alleged illicit affairs and a political staffer, both armed with iPhones, hit record while talking to their boss, who now happens to be the US President.

No wonder Trump wanted to be alone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He'd actually have a legitimate concern his own staff might be surreptitiously recording him. Transcripts of his phone calls with other world leaders once leaked to the press and showed him admitting that Mexico would not pay for a border wall, despite what he said in public.

Michael Cohen and Omarosa Manigault Newman, in putting Trump on tape, were seeking proof not unlike the "Kompromat" Russian agents allegedly try to get over foreigners. It's a strange inverse of the Nixon White House, where everything was recorded and subpoenaed and the gaps of recording helped bring the President down.

In Trump's White House, personal cell phones have been banned in the West Wing since January and staffers either leave them in their cars or check them into lockers.

Cohen's secret recording of the President, made before the election in 2016, was given to CNN by his attorney as Cohen faces possible legal issues about payments by a media company to a Playboy model and by himself to a porn star who were alleged to have affairs with Trump before he was President.

Manigault Newman's secret recording emerged as part of her current book tour.

One of the more persistent paranoias Trump has put forth repeatedly on Twitter is that his phone calls were secretly recorded by former President Obama.

There's never been any evidence for that charge, although it's clear the FBI had ears on his campaign chairman for unrelated extracurricular activities with foreign governments.

When Trump said on Twitter there might be secret tapes of his conversations with James Comey, it seemed like a joke or a troll.

"James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Trump said on Twitter in May of 2017.

It still commanded days of media coverage until the White House was forced to admit there actually probably weren't any tapes, and it also enabled Comey to bring the word "lordy" into common usage for a while.

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes," Comey testified under oath.

And tapes there are. Tapes and tapes. Just not of Trump and Comey. It's altogether unclear what else could spring from the secret archives of Cohen or Manigault Newman, who said she needed the insurance of secret recordings, despite the serious security implications.

"This is a White House where everybody lies," she told NBC News.

It's certainly true there are often different versions of the same event. Like when Trump besmirched Haiti and countries in Africa, aggravating lawmakers and jeopardizing immigration legislation. It can be hard to know exactly what Trump said, especially without a tape to back it up.

That's how Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin found himself giving press conferences and asking DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen under oath if Trump did in fact use the word "shithole" to refer to those countries.

And sometimes, even with a tape, Trump will raise questions, like when he denied that recordings of him impersonating his own publicist to talk himself up to reporters sounded like him.

There are tapes of the President boasting of assaulting women, which were not enough to derail his campaign.

Tom Arnold, who has long claimed there are tapes of Trump saying horrible things in outtakes of his time on "The Apprentice" and has enough material and innuendo about those tapes to create a mystery-style TV show "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes." It premieres next month.

At this rate it should surprise no one if we hear some new secretly recorded tapes of the President before then.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
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