Trump administration official and longtime Trump family ally Lynne Patton on Monday night offered a detailed rebuttal against claims involving her, made by former Trump administration official and reality personality Omarosa Manigault-Newman.
Manigault claimed on page 149 of her new book Unhinged, according to Fox News, that Trump 2016 campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson had heard from someone who knew political strategist Frank Luntz that Luntz had heard a tape of Donald Trump using the n-word. Manigault then writes, “Lynne [Patton] reported that she asked Trump about it on the plane, specifically whether it was possible that such a tape might exist, and he said ‘no.’ Then she asked him what he wanted her to do and he said, ‘Put it to bed.’”
Patton shot back against Manigault-Newman’s claims in a statement issued Monday night:
My name is Lynne Patton and I am a senior official in the Trump Administration.
White House leadership, both past and present, can confirm that I was the closest confidante & friend to Ms. Manigault-Newman during her tenure at the White House, Transition and Campaign – texting and speaking multiple times per day.
To that end, Omarosa attempted to contact me just two days ago, but I refused to accept her call.
Like Ms. Manigault-Newman, I have also known and worked for both the President and his family for over a decade and am confident that they would collectively confirm that I know them far better than she.
To be clear, at no time did I participate in a conference call with Katrina Pierson advising me, Jason Miller and Omarosa Manigault-Newman that Frank Luntz had heard President Donald J. Trump use a derogatory racial term – a claim that Luntz himself has also denied.
What I can confirm is the following:
On December 12, 2017, at approximately 11:30PM (EST) – a date I now know to be the evening Omarosa was relieved of her official duties by General Kelly – I received a telephone call from her informing me that she had personally heard a second-hand recording of President Trump using the “N-word” in a derogatory fashion.
She proceeded to tell me the full name of the individual who played this second-hand tape for her, from whom the primary audio tape had originated, as well as the specific context of the President’s usage of this term and to whom the derogatory term was allegedly directed.
Omarosa also proceeded to inform me that she had officially submitted her resignation to General Kelly and that I should promptly do the same before the audio surfaced.
The next morning, I immediately notified senior communications officials and a Trump family member of the same, only to discover the true nature of her departure was termination.
Today, the individual who Omarosa confirmed to me as having played the second-hand audio recording to her last year confirmed that they have no tape, never had possession of a tape, never claimed to have possession of a tape and never played such a tape for Ms. Manigault-Newman.
Tonight, on the MSNBC program, Hardball, Omarosa revealed to the general public what she had told me last December: That former Apprentice producer, Bill Pruitt, was the original source of the “N-word” tape.
Bill Pruitt is a mutual friend.
I just spoke to Bill Pruitt tonight before releasing this statement.
He confirmed to me (before Hardball had even gone off the air) that he does NOT have an audio tape of President Trump using the “N-word” and has NEVER had an audio tape of President Trump using the “N-word.” Period.
Suffice it to say that the past few weeks have been wrought with disappointment, immense sadness, anger and outright disgust.
Based upon her conflicting accounts and the newfound information revealed in my statement, it should be abundantly clear to everyone that not only is her book a complete work of fiction, but that the existence of this elusive “N-word” tape is a figment of her imagination and merely a destructive tool of manipulation applied only when it best serves her interests.
Like countless other minorities and women, the President has given me the opportunity of a lifetime to rise up through the ranks of The Trump Organization and now proudly serve this country.
Therefore, unless directed otherwise, this will be my only statement on this baseless accusation and imaginary audio tape, as falsely claimed by a former friend.
My primary and sole focus remains the low-income and public housing residents of New York & New Jersey, as the President would expect it to be — and as the President has hired me to do.
Thank you. #MAGA
Shortly after 11:00 p.m. Monday night on Fox News, Trump 2016 spokeswoman and 2020 Trump campaign Senior Adviser Katrina Pierson laid down details of Patton’s account and refuted Manigault’s book claims of a conversation involving Pierson and Patton. Pierson said flatly, “No Ed, that did not happen,” after Ed Henry read Manigault’s claims from page 149 of her book.
Henry asked Pierson directly whether, in the course of working on the president’s campaign or since in her time around the president, she had ever heard the president use the n-word or racial slur. “Absolutely not,” she said. “The answer is no. In fact the president and his family have been nothing but kind, generous, and respectful to myself and everyone else that I know of color.”
Pierson then spoke to Patton’s statement refuting Manigault’s claims of having heard a tape with Trump using the racial word. “Omarosa was the source of this tape, she was concern-trolling this tape since the latter part of the campaign. In my opinion as a tool of manipulation of those around her,” said Pierson. who pointed to Manigault’s invocation of Patton’s name in the book promoting interviews over the past several days.
“It’s the timeline. The reason why Omarosa is facing a wrath of contradiction is because she can’t keep her lies straight,” said Pierson. She pointed to Manigault’s previous claims that she hadn’t heard the tape until after her book was finalized, then pointed to Patton’s statement that contradicts Manigault’s claim.
Pierson then pointed to a media appearance by Manigault two days after the December 12 call Patton says Manigault made to her “informing [Patton] that [Manigault] had personally heard a second-hand recording of President Trump using the “N-word” in a derogatory fashion.” Pierson cited the December 14 ABC News interview with Manigault in which Manigault defends President Donald Trump, clearly stating he “is not a racist.” Pierson questioned how Manigault could defend the President in that way if she had heard such a tape and been so concerned just two days earlier.
President Trump himself weighed in Monday afternoon refuting Manigault’s tape claims. “Mark Burnett 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.”