President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE’s campaign wants former White House aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Manigault NewmanJudge denies Omarosa Manigault Newman request to depose Trump, John Kelly in lawsuit Tanden seeks to defuse GOP tensions over tweets Juan Williams: The GOP's problem with women of color MORE to pay almost $1 million for an ad campaign as a “corrective” remedy for her previous criticisms of the president, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Trump campaign last week filed a document from an expert witness, obtained by the Times, in the arbitration case over Manigault Newman’s comments against Trump in her 2018 book “Unhinged” and associated interviews.
The filing was written by Eric Rose, a crisis management expert, who proposed that Manigault Newman could fund an advertising campaign that would cost more than $846,000. He did not mention a designated timeline for the advertising campaign, but the document mentions “voters” and was filed weeks ahead of Election Day, the Times noted.
“It would be my recommendation that Ms. Manigault Newman pays for the corrective ads/corrective statements outlined above to counteract the long-term adverse effects of information that appeared as a result of Ms. Manigault Newman violating her confidentially agreement,” he said, according to the Times.
“If corrective ads are not placed, voters may continue to hold beliefs about the president as a result of Ms. Manigault Newman’s statements,” he added.
Rose suggested Manigault Newman’s negative remarks about Trump were “given heightened veracity because of her relationship with the president” and “corrective remedies are justified.” The advertising campaign’s goal would be to “provide a paid media recommendation with the goal of reaching audiences reached by negative statements disseminated by Ms. Manigault Newman,” he wrote, according to the Times.
The proposed ad campaign names “targeted audiences” in 15 “select states” that are also battleground states in the election, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Manigault Newman’s lawyer John Phillips told the Times the campaign’s submission of the expert witness document was the height of “weaponized litigation.”
“Friday, we found out their bullets are commercials they want Omarosa to go do,” he said. “This isn’t free speech. It’s speech with a gun to your head.”
Phillips added that the submission came after Manigault Newman’s team asked the president’s lawyers how they would prove damages were owed.
Charles Harder, a lawyer for the president who has been handling the arbitration case, told The Hill in a statement that the expert filing is "not a request that Ms. Newman pay for a campaign media buy, as Ms. Newman's lawyer has falsely stated to the press."
"Rather, it is an estimate of monetary damages that will be used at an arbitration hearing, and nothing more," he said.
Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to Trump campaign, told the Times that “the report evidences the extent of damages suffered by the Trump campaign as a direct result of Ms. Manigault Newman’s breach of her unambiguous contractual obligations.”
Campaign finance experts told the Times if Manigault Newman funded an ad, it would count as a campaign contribution.
Rose did not immediately return a request for comment.
Manigault Newman met Trump on his “The Apprentice” reality show. She was hired by the campaign in 2016 and later joined the White House before leaving in late 2017. She later published a tell-all book titled “Unhinged” in August 2018.
The book accuses Trump of using racist and misogynist language about Black people and women. The president’s lawyers filed an arbitration case against Manigault Newman, alleging she violated her nondisclosure agreement.