An alleged heated exchange between Trump communications official Omarosa Manigault and a reporter was reportedly captured in a recording, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night.
April Ryan, a reporter with American Urban Radio Networks, allegedly got into an argument with Manigault near the Oval Office last week, according to the newspaper.
During the exchange, Ryan said that she felt “physically intimidated” by Manigault, and alleged that Manigault said Ryan was included in supposed “dossiers” of negative information being maintained on several journalists.
“She stood right in my face like she was going to hit me,” Ryan said in The Post.
In a follow-up report from the newspaper, Manigault denied that she had threatened Ryan and said that “dossiers” were never mentioned in the recorded exchange. She also alleges that Ryan had hurled insults at her.
Manigault told The Post: “She came in [to the White House press-staff area] hot. She came in with an attitude. For her to characterize me as the bully — I’m so glad we have this tape … because it’s ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’.”
“I didn’t know she was taping it,” Ryan said. “This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.”
Parts of the discussion were shared with other journalists, according to Manigault and Fox News reporter John Roberts. In an email to The Post, Roberts supported some of the claims of the “terse words and accusations” between the two. However, he did note that sections of the recording “were difficult to hear clearly and understand fully — and while the recording may not have captured the entire conversation — nowhere did I hear the word ‘dossier’ spoken.”
Ryan insists that Manigault had edited the recording and wants to “spin it like it’s a catfight.”
“You don’t hear her screaming. This is about her smearing me,” she said.
Manigault defended the recording, saying that the White House press staff regularly records interviews with reporters and officials. “We do it all the time,” she said. “When you come into [the press staff’s offices], you’re on the record.”
Although several veteran White House reporters agreed that officials sometimes recorded interviews, they said that it was usually done with their knowledge.