But it wasn’t about that if you ask Omarosa Manigault Newman.
“He was certainly going after him because of his race,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ahead of the release of her tell-all book about the current White House administration.
Coverage of Omarosa Manigault Newman on Globalnews.ca:
Newman was a guest on Matthews’ show Hardball on Monday night.
Her appearance came one day before she was set to release Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.
In the book, she wrote of Trump’s feelings about Obama — how he talked about the former president often, and even “hated” him.
READ MORE: Donald Trump on Barack Obama — ‘he likes me’
Matthews noted that Newman called Trump out on his position at the forefront of the “birther” movement, which urged Obama to produce his birth certificate and prove he was born in the U.S.
“The first thing he said was that the Hillary Clinton people started the birther movement; ‘Omarosa, you’re so naive,'” she said on MSNBC.
“Then he said it was just political, he was going after him because it was political, not because of his race, but I don’t believe that to be true.”
Asked whether she believed that at the time, Newman said she just “kind of stepped back” and wanted to see whether Clinton and her people were behind the birther movement.
“I took it all kind of at face value,” she said.
“But now that I know what I know about him, he was certainly going after him because of his race.”
Newman said she wanted to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt,” that she had a “blind spot” for the president, given their history working together on the reality TV show The Apprentice.
“But he continued it in a very, very derogatory way,” she said.
Trump has called Newman a “lowlife” after she recorded her firing by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and released the audio.
And that, she said, is more evidence of how Trump treats black people.
“Just having him call me out of my name, call me a lowlife, say that I’m not intelligent, this is what he does when it comes to African-Americans,” she said.
Matthews pointed out that Trump used similar rhetoric to describe Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters, who he said has a “low I.Q.”
“Absolutely. Particularly with African-Americans, he thinks we’re all stupid,” Newman said.
In her book, Newman said tapes exist of Trump using the N-word while he filmed The Apprentice.
Not so, said the president in a tweet on Monday.