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Omarosa Breaks Down How Trump Staffers Would Keep Trump Awake During Long Events

After Trump fell asleep in court, former Apprentice contestant and Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman described how Trump aides would keep his attention during long events.

Omarosa Manigault Newman; Donald Trump
Leigh Vogel/WireImage/Getty Images; Brendan McDermid/Pool/Getty Images

After critics laid into former President Donald Trump for appearing to fall asleep during jury selection on day one of his hush money trial, his former White House adviser and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman described how his aides would keep his attention during long events.

Manigault Newman's remarks came in response to a report earlier this week from New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman, one of the journalists present in the courtroom and the first to report that Trump appeared to have fallen asleep during the proceedings.

Haberman wrote that Trump "seemed alternately irritated and exhausted Monday morning," later relaying that he appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest. Notably, one of Trump's attorneys "passed him notes for several minutes before Mr. Trump appeared to jolt awake and notice them."

Manigault Newman said Trump has a history of dozing off, telling MSNBC's Jason Johnson Thursday evening that Trump “cannot focus, nor can he sit still for long" so his staff had to structure events “specifically to address his attention deficit.”

You can hear what she said in the video below.

Omarosa says Trump will be found in contempt of

When asked for her thoughts on how Trump is "going to handle having to sit in trial every single day and listen to people talk about him," Manigault-Newman said:

"I will tell you, I have had to sit through long ceremonies with Donald Trump. I've had to sit next to him during long church services or different policy events. And Donald Trump cannot focus, nor can he sit still for very long."
"In fact, we used to build our events specifically to address his attention deficit. We would break up the events so that he be stimulated and not fall asleep. We could slide him different information or news articles he could read while the long proceedings were going on, anything to keep him focused so he wouldn't get up and walk out."
"I think it's going to be difficult for Donald to sit through eight weeks of these proceedings. Sometimes they're not exciting, sometimes they're very boring. And as you heard, he sometimes falls asleep during these sessions."

She also said it's "highly likely" Trump will be unable to handle his frustrations, risking being held in contempt of court:

"I would absolutely say it's highly likely. You know, during the campaign, one of the things we used to say is, let Trump be Trump."
"The worst place you can allow Trump to be Trump is in a courtroom. Because Donald Trump will express himself."
"If he hears something he doesn't like, he cannot hide it, nor can he control his expressions, his emotions, his outbursts. I suspect he may be held in contempt because he's not going to be able to control himself."

Many concurred with Manigault Newman's assessment—and mocked Trump themselves.

Trump and Manigault Newman, whose formerly close relationship with him landed her a position as the Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, have a rocky history.

In 2018, the Trump campaign said Manigault Newman's book Unhinged, an account of her chaotic time with the Trump administration, and subsequent tour breached a 2016 confidentiality agreement. Trump would later lose a court case to silence her.

Manigault Newman responded with recordings showing the campaign offered her a $15,000 per month position on the condition she sign a new confidentiality agreement, which she declined. She said the recording was proof of "an attempt" by the Trump team "to buy my silence, to censor me, and to pay me off," likening it to "hush money."

Manigault Newman also made headlines after revealing she'd secretly recorded John Kelly, who was then the White House Chief of Staff, as he fired her in the Situation Room. At the time, Kelly said Manigault Newman could face “pretty significant legal issues” for her misuse of a government-issued car, a claim she denies.

Additionally, her claim that Trump used racial slurs––particularly the "n-word"––during a 2012 taping of The Apprentice has also stirred controversy, and then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders came under fire after she could not guarantee that there don't exist any recordings of Trump using such language.

Manigault Newman alleges her search for the tape got her fired from the White House. News outlets later reported that Trump was so furious at her "betrayal" that he went so far as to request that Jeff Sessions, his former Attorney General, arrest her, though it was unclear what laws Trump believed she broke.