Trump campaign senior advisor Katrina Pierson fired back against claims by Omarosa Manigault Newman that she confirmed Trump’s alleged use of a racial slur.
Pierson got into a heated debate with Fox News host Ed Henry on Tuesday as she refuted the allegation by Manigault-Newman, a former Trump aide promoting a new tell-all book, that she was part of a 2016 phone conversation discussing a tape of Trump using the N-word when he was hosting “The Apprentice.”
Pierson’s denial of the conversation during her appearance on “Fox News @ Night” on Monday was rebutted Tuesday morning when Manigault-Newman released the recording of the alleged call to CBS News.
“Look, first of all, that is not true,” Pierson told Henry Tuesday. “There are two things that occurred last night in our discussion: You had read for me a book excerpt that I have not seen because the book cannot come out yet, and you referenced me having been speaking to the president about this issue. And that is false. We have transcript today of the tapes that Omarosa released that prove that to be true.”
Henry attempted to clarify Pierson’s earlier remarks and pressed her on her denial of the conversation.
“Let me get to the facts. I don’t want to get two side issues,” Henry told Pierson at one point as she noted what she had said in other media interviews and continued to speak over the Fox News host.
“Pardon me,” Henry said. “I’m not going to — pardon me! No, no, no — the tape says that you said that he said it. You told me you never said that! Speak about is not. We were talking.”
“This is the question,” Pierson said. “This is regards to a specific discussion — check the tape of what he said on Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie! She specifically said that I said and confirmed that Donald Trump said a derogatory term on a conference call with Jason Miller, that did not happen! That is what I’m refuting! What happened today, Ed, what happened today, Omarosa submitted two different tapes to CBS.”
“We have to!” Pierson added as Henry argued they were getting sidetracked.
“No, no, pardon me. It’s our show. Hang on one second,” he fired back as the heated exchange continued.
Pierson stood by her denials in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday as well, saying that Manigault Newman “played” CBS News by “conflating” two different audiotapes.
“CBS was played by Omarosa today. Omarosa went around making a very specific claim that I had been refuting for the last two days. And then she took two different audios, submitted it to them where it was conflated into one story,” Pierson said on “Out Front with Erin Burnett” on Tuesday.
The tape does not include the “hours upon hours” of Manigault Newman herself, Pierson argued, saying she had just been “placating” the former White House in her comments on the tape.
“What you hear me doing, is interrupting, saying, ‘OK, OK, he said it, he said it, he’s embarrassed, let’s move on,” Pierson said.
“How is saying ‘he said it’ placating? That is admitting,” Burnett asked before bringing up Pierson’s denial before the tape was revealed to CBS News.
“The claim that I’m refuting is Omarosa made the claim that I had a conference call with Jason Miller and that I confirmed that he ‘said it’ and that is a lie. And the transcripts prove it,” Pierson replied.
Pierson also revealed that she herself had signed a non-disclosure agreement when joining the Trump campaign.
“If you had heard him say the n-word, you wouldn’t tell me about it any way,” Burnett noted.
“I’m telling you the truth. I’m not up here to lie. I’m telling you the absolute truth. I signed an NDA with the campaign because everybody did,” Pierson replied. “I wouldn’t come on this program, as a black woman, Erin, and tell you that someone didn’t say a derogatory term when they did. I would just leave the campaign. It’s that simple.”
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