clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Did Trump use N-word? Omarosa says yes, he says no, Sanders offers no guarantee

President Donald Trump, left, pauses during remarks at a campaign rally at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Fla. File Photo. (APEvan Vucci); Omarosa Manigault Newman, right, then director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, listens to Vice President Mike Pence in 2017. File Photo. (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump calls the N-word “a terrible and disgusting word” that “I don’t have … in my vocabulary, and never have” — but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday declined to guarantee that the president has never used the racial slur.

“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly. I can tell you that I’ve never heard it,” she said when reporters asked Sanders if she can say with certainty that Trump has never used the N-word. “Look, I haven’t been in every single room.”

Questioned at the daily press briefing about Ex-Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s allegation that Manigault Newman heard Trump used the racial slur on tape, Sanders dubbed the claim “salacious and ridiculous,” but repeatedly referred reporters to the president’s own tweets on the subject.

@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa,” Trump tweeted Monday. “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.”

The president resumed his Twitter tirade on Tuesday, tweeting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was right to fire her.

“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,” the president tweeted. “Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”

Reporters asked Sanders whether using such disparaging language in tweets about Manigault Newman was part of a pattern of Trump insulting prominent African-Americans, such as Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, CNN anchor Don Lemon and NFL players.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House Briefing Room, on August 14, 2018 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House Briefing Room, on August 14, 2018 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sanders argued race plays no role in Trump’s tweets, describing him as “an equal opportunity person” when it comes to expressing his opinions.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the president calling out someone’s lack of integrity,'” Sanders said. “The idea that you would only point a few of the things that the president has said negative about people that are minorities — the fact is, the president is an equal opportunity person that calls things like he sees it. He always fights fire with fire. And he certainly doesn’t hold back on doing that across the board.”

She suggested that White House staffers would quit if they heard Trump using racial slurs.

“I can also tell you that if myself or the people that are in this building — serving this country every single day, doing our very best to help people all across this country, and make it better — if at any point we felt that the president was who some of his critics claim him to be, we certainly wouldn’t be here,” Sanders said.

Manigault Newman has responded that Trump has “absolutely no respect” for women or African-Americans.

Sanders says Trump hired Manigault Newman as an assistant to the president because he “wanted to give her a chance.” She was a contestant on his reality show “The Apprentice” and a former campaign aide.

Manigault Newman has been releasing audio recordings of private White House conversations as part of her book roll-out tour. She was fired in December.

Contributing: Sun-Times staff


Trump lashes out at Omarosa, calls her ‘that dog’

Trump calling former aide Omarosa a ‘dog’ triggers outrage

Omarosa: Trump has ‘done nothing’ to stem Chicago violence