Former presidential adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman says she secretly recorded conversations she had at the White House, including the dismissal of her chief of staff, John Kelly, in the High Security Situation Room.
The highly unusual admission immediately caught the attention of allies of the president and experts in national security.
Parts of her conversation with Kelly were heard on the air when she appeared on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday to promote her new book, Unhinged, to be released next week.
In his book, Manigault Newman paints a condemnatory image of President Donald Trump, even stating that there are tapes of him using the word N while filming his reality series The Apprentice, in which he co-starred.
Manigault Newman said in the book that she had not personally listened to the recording. But she told Chuck Todd on Sunday that, after the book was closed, she could hear a recording of Trump during a trip to Los Angeles.
But the other recording he discussed on Sunday could be equally explosive.
"Who in their right mind believes it appropriate to secretly record the White House chief of staff in the situation room?" he tweeted Ronna McDaniel, president of the Republican National Committee.
In the recording, which Manigault Newman cites extensively in the book, one can hear Kelly saying that he can see his time in the White House as a year of "service to the nation" and referring to possible "difficulties in the future in relation to his reputation. "
Manigault Newman said he viewed the comment as a "threat" and defended his decision to covertly record and other White House talks, describing it as a form of protection.
"If I did not have these recordings, nobody in the United States would believe me," he said.
The Situation Room is a Sensitive Shared Information Facility, or SCIF, and staff are not allowed to bring mobile phones or other recording devices.
"I've never heard of a violation of the most serious protocol," said Ned Price, who served as a spokesman for the National Security Council in the Obama administration. "Not only is it not typical, something like this is unprecedented."
Price said there is no one to check employees for devices at the door, but there is a sign outside the room that makes it clear that electronic devices are prohibited.
"The Situation Room is the innermost sanctuary of a secure campus," he said, describing the rape as part of a culture of ignoring the security protocols in Trump's White House. He also questioned why Kelly would ever choose to have a meeting there.
The White House has tried to discredit the book, with Trump on Saturday labeling Manigault Newman as a "delinquent."
White House counsel Kellyanne Conway also questioned the credibility of Manigault Newman in an interview on Sunday at ABC This Week.
"The first time I heard Omarosa suggest those horrible things about this president are in this book," he said, noting that Manigault Newman "is someone who gave a brilliant assessment of Donald Trump, the entrepreneur, the star of The Apprentice, the candidate and, in fact, the president of the United States. "
Manigault Newman had been a strong supporter of the president for years, but now he says that Trump "used" him for years, calling him "swindler" who "has been posing as someone who is really open to getting involved with diverse communities." "and he's" really a racist. "
"I was an accomplice of this White House deceiving this nation," he said. "He had a blind spot in regards to Donald Trump."