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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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