Reliable Sources: Omarosa and Trump battle for each news cycle

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. ...

Posted: Aug 17, 2018 12:27 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2018 12:27 PM

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

"Donald Trump has met his match," Omarosa Manigault Newman said on MSNBC Thursday afternoon.

And just like THAT, she was back in the news.

One day after the White House yanked attention away from Omarosa's book "Unhinged" by revoking John Brennan's security clearance, Omarosa regained control of the news cycle by coming out with another tape, revealing part of her conversation with Lara Trump about a job on Trump's re-election campaign.

At one point on the tape, Lara Trump commented to Omarosa that it seemed "there are some things you've got in the back pocket to pull out." And Lara was right -- the recording device was evidently one of those things.

-- Of note: NBC/MSNBC remains Omarosa's network of choice. Presumably this is related to her package deal of interviews earlier this week. She played the newest tape on MSNBC at 1 p.m. Thursday, sparking all the news coverage...

-- Stephen Colbert's question on the "Late Show:" "Why is Lara Trump in charge of this?"

Trump trying to change the subject?

President Trump has been tweeting up a storm the past few days. Sometimes he just quotes Fox News segments, sometimes he promotes the economy, other times he brings up various controversies. One wonders if he's trying to divert attention away from the "Unhinged" book... but the Brennan decision was the only really significant attention-grabber of the week.

How many more tapes?

A dozen? A hundred? Two hundred? The New York Times included the two hundred number in a story on Thursday evening.

The tapes "have rattled the White House in a way that few things other than the special counsel investigation into possible campaign collusion with Russia have," Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel reported. "Mr. Trump's aides have been concerned that they will make appearances on other tapes, of which Ms. Manigault Newman is believed to have as many as 200.."

Of course, there's a big caveat to all this. "Conventional wisdom would be that Omarosa leaked the best audio she had in the first few days" to boost book sales, Chris Cillizza noted.

The book is still #2 on Amazon

"Unhinged" has been holding steady at #2 on Amazon's list for the past two days. Most authors would love to be there, but I'm still a little surprised that Omarosa hasn't taken the #1 spot from the motivational book "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis...

Publisher defends "Unhinged"

This back and forth is reminiscent of Macmillan's defense of "Fire and Fury" last January: Omarosa's publishing house, Simon & Schuster, apparently received a letter from legal pit bull Charles Harder, litigation counsel for the Trump campaign. The publisher's outside counsel Elizabeth McNamara replied on Thursday, and CNN's Kaitlan Collins obtained the response first.

According to McNamara, Harder threatened that S&S would be subject to "substantial monetary damages and punitive damages" for claims arising from the book. "My clients will not be intimidated by hollow legal threats and have proceeded with publication of the Book as schedule," McNamara wrote. "Should you pursue litigation against S&S, we are confident that documents related to the contents of the Book in the possession of President Trump, his family members, his businesses, the Trump Campaign, and his administration will prove particularly relevant to our defense."

"An obvious attempt to silence legitimate criticism"

Key graf from McNamara's response to Harder: "Your letter is nothing more than an obvious attempt to silence legitimate criticism of the president. Put simply, the book's purpose is to inform the public. Private contracts like the NDA may not be used to censor former or current government officials from speaking about non-classified information learned during the course of their public employment."

Back to the Brennan fallout...

-- Washington Post's latest: "Trump has told advisers that he is eager to strip more security clearances."

-- Rachel Maddow's take on Thursday night: "Trump isn't going after his critics, he's going after the witnesses."

-- "Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President." That op-ed by Retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven is the most-read story on the WashPost

website right now, nine hours after it came out...

-- A dozen former senior intelligence officials issued a joint statement on Thursday night. They said "we have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool, as was done in this case." They called it "an attempt to stifle free speech" and said it is "inappropriate and deeply regrettable."

Summing up the day:

The Washington Post's Greg Miller tweeted: "President's campaign chairman is waiting to find out if he's going to prison. Architect of bin Laden raid is daring president to take his clearances. Reality show contestant/WH employee has tape of $180K offer she got to stay quiet. Years of chaos in one day."

Read more of Thursday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 445047

Reported Deaths: 5955
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin924911470
Ramsey39703735
Dakota32788331
Anoka30811360
Washington20004225
Stearns17775185
St. Louis13546240
Scott1189996
Wright11548102
Olmsted1035775
Sherburne815765
Carver691436
Clay648478
Rice600166
Kandiyohi552871
Blue Earth538033
Crow Wing479673
Otter Tail453464
Chisago449732
Benton416785
Winona386246
Douglas372466
Nobles366746
Mower362328
Goodhue343657
Polk327756
McLeod323144
Morrison310043
Beltrami308746
Lyon299835
Itasca282643
Becker281738
Isanti281141
Carlton278143
Steele27119
Pine265113
Freeborn241320
Todd230929
Nicollet223336
Brown213734
Mille Lacs212845
Le Sueur208515
Cass206123
Meeker198533
Waseca188816
Martin169126
Wabasha16883
Roseau165316
Hubbard148338
Redwood139227
Renville136539
Houston135313
Dodge13304
Chippewa130832
Cottonwood126518
Fillmore12215
Wadena119416
Rock109512
Sibley10797
Aitkin107133
Watonwan10618
Faribault104615
Pennington97715
Kanabec97218
Pipestone93823
Yellow Medicine93314
Murray8655
Jackson85010
Swift83018
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6978
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65616
Lake62915
Wilkin6229
Koochiching59010
Lincoln4821
Big Stone4543
Unassigned43468
Grant4257
Norman4228
Mahnomen4087
Kittson37019
Red Lake3164
Traverse2473
Lake of the Woods1801
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 303065

Reported Deaths: 4267
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45335447
Linn17673274
Scott15356163
Black Hawk13648236
Woodbury12945175
Johnson1202149
Dubuque11300149
Pottawattamie8934112
Dallas881171
Story863434
Webster467471
Cerro Gordo462968
Sioux453356
Clinton448361
Warren437538
Marshall425561
Buena Vista391529
Muscatine386177
Des Moines380641
Plymouth348868
Wapello340898
Jasper319658
Lee313530
Marion301752
Jones269649
Henry263230
Carroll253034
Bremer242048
Crawford228122
Boone216217
Washington214231
Benton208544
Jackson190831
Mahaska190736
Tama185657
Dickinson184226
Delaware172236
Kossuth170543
Clay166019
Wright162724
Fayette159522
Buchanan158023
Hamilton157829
Winneshiek154819
Harrison154462
Hardin153929
Cedar151419
Clayton150748
Butler146424
Page143715
Cherokee138127
Floyd137936
Mills136016
Lyon133632
Poweshiek132324
Hancock128824
Allamakee126827
Iowa122822
Calhoun12209
Grundy120026
Jefferson119524
Madison11869
Winnebago118229
Mitchell115634
Louisa114130
Cass112541
Chickasaw110512
Emmet110231
Sac110215
Appanoose109638
Union108122
Humboldt104219
Guthrie102224
Shelby101326
Franklin101218
Unassigned9210
Palo Alto9019
Keokuk84325
Montgomery84022
Howard82519
Monroe80518
Clarke7817
Pocahontas77211
Ida73830
Greene6887
Davis68721
Adair68620
Lucas6468
Osceola6349
Monona63316
Worth5983
Taylor5919
Fremont5036
Van Buren49412
Decatur4784
Ringgold4269
Wayne41421
Audubon4108
Adams2953
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 17°
Mason City
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 17°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 18°
Austin
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 17°
Charles City
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 13°
A big temperature swing is on the way
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday's local highlights and scores

Image

John Marshall ready for 2021

Image

Is the City of Rochester paying men and women equally?

Image

LWVMN asks for "truth and consequences" for state lawmakers

Image

Sports Overtime Part 2

Image

Sports Overtime Part 1

Image

Plans for polar plunge

Image

Equal work and equal pay.

Image

Aaron's Friday Night Forecast

Image

Mega Millions jackpot soars to $750 million

Community Events