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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: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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