Administration

Ex-CIA analyst blasts ‘disregard for national security’ after Omarosa revelation

A former CIA analyst blasted ex-Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Sunday for secretly recording chief of staff John Kelly in the White House Situation Room.

Manigault Newman unveiled the 20-second audio clip on Sunday, depicting Kelly firing her inside the Situation Room - the highly sensitive space where phones and electronic devices are prohibited for security reasons.

Ned Price, a former Obama special assistant and CIA official, tweeted that it wouldn't be that difficult to sneak a phone into the office because the system is "built on trust."

"Those are supposed to be the finest public servants we have," Price tweeted. "The WH wasn't signed for the Omarosas of the world. Sad we now have to accommodate them."

Price also questioned why this personnel conversation with the then-director of communications for the White House's Office of Public Liaison did not take place in Kelly's office.

"This is bigger than Omarosa. It's a culture of disregard for our [national] security," Price wrote. 

The White House echoed Price's comments on Sunday. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the "very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security."

"And then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee," she continued.

A number of journalists, national security experts and former White House staff raised alarms about the dangers of recording in the Situation Room.

"If Omarosa carried for example a cellphone into the Situation Room, then not only did she record conversations there, but so potentially has any country or criminal organization that thought to hack her phone," David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, tweeted Sunday.

Shortly after Omarosa revealed the recording, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that the former aide should be "prosecuted" if her actions constitute a violation of federal law. 

"Secretly recording conversations in the Situation Room isn't just wildly inappropriate, it's a threat to our national security. If she broke federal law, she should be prosecuted," McDaniel wrote.

It's unclear if Manigault Newman's recording amounts to a criminal offense.

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