UPDATE: Taking questions about President Donald Trump’s recent sexist and racist tweets against his former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fought back on Tuesday against allegations that audio evidence of the president uttering the N-word existed.
But her assurances weren’t that convincing, as Sanders couldn’t promise that such a recording wasn’t out there somewhere.
When asked by Kristen Welker from NBC News whether Sanders could “guarantee the American people will never hear Donald Trump utter the 'N' word on a recording in any context,” the press secretary admitted that she could not deliver on such a promise.
“I can't guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly,” Sanders said. “I can tell you that I've never heard it.”
.@kwelkernbc: "Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they'll never hear Donald Trump utter 'the n word' on a recording, in any context?"— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 14, 2018
Sarah Sanders: "I can't guarantee anything... I can tell you I've never heard it." pic.twitter.com/rSDj4ctA5a
Recorded conversations of Manigault-Newman with other staffers seem to contradict that statement from Sanders. In 2016, during the presidential campaign, Manigault-Newman, speaking with then-campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, discussed the possibility of a tape recording with Trump uttering the N-word being made public.
At one point during that recorded conversation, Pierson admitted that the president had told her he had indeed uttered the racist epithet.
“He said — no, he said it. He’s embarrassed,” Pierson said.
While no such recording of Trump saying the N-word has surfaced, it’s galling and eye-opening that Sanders can’t guarantee he never said it. Sanders could only refer to what the president has said on Twitter, denying that he’s ever said the word — which isn’t too reassuring either, given how often he lies on that platform, too.
But even with the lack of a tape recording, Trump’s words on Tuesday, in which he called Manigault-Newman a “lowlife” and a “dog,” seem to shine a bright light, at the very least, on his racist and misogynistic feelings. At this point, however, many Americans are already well-aware of Trump’s bigotry.
When President Donald Trump tweets, it usually makes headlines, and not typically for good reasons. But on Tuesday morning, he issued a new tweet attacking a former White House staffer that was low even for his own standards.
Trump sent out a racist and sexist social media post about Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a former contestant on his reality TV program "The Apprentice" and a former member of his White House communications team up until this past winter when she left the administration.
“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,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning. “Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
His derogatory and clearly racist tweet describing Manigault-Newman as a "dog" is shameful, beyond reproach, and one for which no justification can be produced by the president's apologists. The wording that Trump used, calling her a "dog," also carries misogynistic connotations within it that cannot be ignored.
Trump is likely upset over the fact that Manigault-Newman recorded conversations she had with other staffers in the White House, putting the president in a bad light and prompting questions about his alleged racism. Those questions should have been put to rest long ago, of course, but for anyone still doubting his bigoted viewpoints, Tuesday’s tweet directed toward her should put those doubts to rest once and for all.
Manigault-Newman has previously alleged that the president used the N-word before. Trump denied ever using the racist word, a claim Manigault-Newman also made in her new book.
“She made it up,” Trump insisted on Monday.
However, another recording obtained by CBS News, just after that statement by Trump, seems to indicate the president is lying.
In the new recording, which took place during the 2016 campaign, aides can be heard discussing the potential fallout of a separate recording of Trump using the N-word being made public.
Manigault-Newman is among those involved in the conversation and asks other aides to explain the context of the usage of the word by Trump. Katrina Pierson, then a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, said he was “embarrassed” by it.
POTUS says former White House staffer @Omarosa lied when she called him a racist who has said the N-word on tape. But a new recording, obtained by @CBSNews overnight, seems to back up Omarosa's story that several Trump advisers discussed an alleged tape during the 2016 campaign. pic.twitter.com/tV3R6P2TvE— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 14, 2018
It’s the strongest indication yet that Manigault-Newman is telling the truth about the president. Yet we don’t need to justify Trump’s racism with proof from her observations — we’ve seen, on many occasions, the president lash out in racist ways against immigrants, black Americans, Arab-born Muslims, and more, so many times now that it’s hard to keep track of.
Trump’s recent tweet calling his former staffer a “dog” contradicts his insistence that he doesn’t hold racist views. It’s clearly racist and sexist, and anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves.
This shouldn’t be seen as normal. The president of the United States should be held to a high standard of decency. But as we’ve seen with Trump, on the issue of race and other topics, decency doesn’t seem to fit into his vocabulary.
Unfortunately, other derogatory words apparently do.