The Trump circle is fond of hush money, even more than previously known. With the upcoming release of her memoir Unhinged, former Donald Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman is back in the national spotlight. She shares in the book, The Washington Post reports, that she was offered a substantial amount of money and a Trump campaign job in exchange for silence. She refused that offer — as evidenced by the fact that her memoir covering her time in the administration will soon be out.
Eric Trump’s wife Lara originally made the offer via a phone call, Omarosa shares. The nondisclosure agreement that went along with the money and job offer would have forbidden Omarosa from speaking publicly about the Trumps, the Pences, or anything “that could damage the president.” Had she accepted the offer, her job with the Trump campaign would have allegedly incorporated diversity outreach work.
In Unhinged, Omarosa calls the nondisclosure agreement she was approached with “as harsh and restrictive as any I’d seen in all my years of television.” Those years include a stint on President Trump’s old reality show The Celebrity Apprentice, where he and Omarosa first met.
In the past, the president has praised the occasional reality television personality. On Twitter in August 2015, as his presidential campaign was getting underway, he called her a “loyal friend” after an appearance she made on television that he said was “fantastic.”
On Friday, although the Trump campaign itself initially ignored The Post‘s request for comment, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders struck a much different tone.
She denounced the former communications staffer, commenting:
‘It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks.’
Although the Trump team has pushed back against Omarosa’s allegations, it’s not as though they have no obvious connection to reality.
In perhaps the most infamous example of the president resorting to hush money, his former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in an effort to keep her quiet about an affair with his boss. That didn’t work, and the affair is now widely publicly known. Cohen (and the president) face legal challenges ranging from a government criminal investigation into the lawyer to lawsuits from Daniels challenging the nondisclosure agreement and alleging defamation.
Just this week, it came out the Republican National Committee is paying Trump’s former bodyguard Keith Schiller — wait for it — $15,000 a month. The money comes from a pool that’s been denounced as a “slush fund.” Schiller was by Trump’s side for decades that include some of the belligerent businessman’s time in the White House, although the money is claimed as payment for “security consulting” ahead of the 2020 Republican National Convention and not hush money.
To be sure, though, Omarosa could have hidden behind a similar alibi had she accepted the hush money, claiming it as solely payment for services to the Trump campaign. The Schiller situation is thus ripe for scrutiny — and in the end, it’s not far fetched to suggest that the Trump camp offered her hush money. That’s what they do.
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