White House Can’t Guarantee There’s No Tape of Trump Using the N-Word

“I haven’t been in every single room,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Chris Kleponis/ZUMA

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders couldn’t guarantee on Tuesday that the American public would never hear a recording of President Donald Trump saying the N-word.

“Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people they’ll never hear Donald Trump utter the N-word on a recording in any context?” NBC’s Kristen Welker asked during Tuesday’s White House press briefing.

“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly,” Sanders responded, referring to the president’s tweet Monday night denying that he had ever used the racial slur. “I can tell you that I’ve never heard it.”

She later added, “I haven’t been in every single room.”

Rumors of a tape featuring Trump using the N-word during his work on NBC’s The Apprentice first emerged during the 2016 campaign and resurfaced in recent days ahead of the publication of a memoir by Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former White House aide and Apprentice contestant. The promotion of Manigault Newman’s book has included the release of three audio clips she says she surreptitiously recorded in the White House and on the campaign trail.

The newest recording, which was released hours before Tuesday’s press briefing, purported to catch Trump campaign staffers discussing the potential fallout of the alleged Apprentice tape and how they would “spin” it. On the recording, Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson can be heard saying, “No, he said it. He is embarrassed.”

During the same press briefing, Sanders also declined to state whether she had signed a nondisclosure agreement upon joining the Trump administration. (The Trump campaign has reportedly filed an arbitration action alleging that Newman violated her nondisclosure agreement in her recent publicity blitz.) She did, however, falsely claim that signing one is common practice for government employees.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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