anne mikolay 2018This week, job-hopping Omarosa Manigault Newman (the one-time White House political aide in the Clinton administration, who craftily transformed herself into a television personality and parlayed her relationship with Donald Trump into a position as Director of Communications in the Trump White House, and has now emerged vengeful author) released her controversial book, Unhinged, claiming, among other things, that President Donald Trump dropped the “N word” during Manigault’s previous stint on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”. This fact, coupled with Manigault’s possession of audio tapes allegedly substantiating her claim, has set the gossip world afire.

Omarosa is a clever woman who knows how to market herself. Unhinged would likely not have made much of a dent in the literary world without shocking evidence to thrust its author into the limelight (which, no doubt, is Omarosa’s motivation). Allegedly, Omarosa possesses such evidence in the form of damning audio tapes. This begs the question: why do Donald Trump’s so-called “friends” surreptitiously tape conversations in the White House? Is that the only life-preserver these people have in that swamp? Are the waters truly that muddied? Never mind. No need to reply. We all know the answer.

For the sake of clarity, let’s review a few of Omarosa’s revelations in Unhinged. Omarosa alleges Donald Trump “covets” his daughter, Ivanka, and frequently crosses the line of appropriate behavior with her. Donald Trump, Omarosa reports, is a barely literate, ill man, who verbally degrades his son, Don, Jr., eats paper (she claims to have seen him devour a note from attorney Michael Cohen), and wanted to be sworn into office with his hand upon his bestseller, The Art of the Deal, rather than the Bible. Unhinged also includes Omarosa’s take on Donald Trump’s marriage to Melania. And if all this hearsay isn’t enough to attract readers, yesterday Omarosa dropped another bombshell: Donald Trump allegedly knew all about the Russian hacking of the DNC beforehand.

There’s the problem with this book. It’s hearsay, Omarosa’s observations, her opinion. It is not fact, and thus, not news. This, ironically, is fake news - until Omarosa produces any and all audio tapes substantiating her claims. The very fact that she possesses tapes in the first place proves this is strategic; Omarosa planned to write a book about her buddy Trump regardless of her success or failure in the White House.

Are Omarosa’s Unhinged allegations true? Is the President’s irate twitter reply justified? Who knows?! But this  dramatic case of he-said/she-said could have wide-reaching implications, and Omarosa could find herself in hot water in the future. Surely taping conversations in the Situation Room, or anywhere in the White House, is illegal. If nothing else, the existence of audio tapes within the White House raises valid security concerns.

Despite the tabloid-like controversy surrounding Unhinged, a few things are glaringly undeniable. 1) Omarosa enjoys stirring the pot and her motivation behind Unhinged is pure self-aggrandizement, not patriotism; 2) where there’s smoke there’s fire; 3) and most importantly, the entire White House is unhinged.