Donald Trump has labelled a former aide "wacky" after she released a tape in which the president expresses surprise over her dismissal by his chief of staff.
Omarosa Manigault Newman says she made the recording when Mr Trump called her the day after she was taken into a private office and fired by John Kelly.
In the tape, played on NBC's Today programme, Mr Trump says: "Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?"
Ms Newman responds: "General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave."
"No…I, I, nobody even told me about it," Mr Trump replies.
Ms Manigault Newman then adds "wow", before Mr Trump repeats how he shocked he is.
"You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it," Trump is heard saying on the tape. "I didn't know that. Goddamn it. I don't love you leaving at all."
Ms Manigault Newman is a former The Apprentice contestant who was given a job in the White House by the Trump administration after his election, later becoming the president's senior adviser.
Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 August 2018
Hitting out at the former aide after the release of the recording, Mr Trump tweeted: "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time.
"She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things.
"Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!"
He added: "While I know it's 'not presidential' to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!"
#On Saturday, ahead of the release of her book, Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House, Ms Manigault Newman said she witnessed the president being racist "many times".
Ms Manigault Newman went on to say in an NBC interview that the taped call shows Mr Trump "doesn't even know what's happening in his White House".
"He's being puppeted," she said.
The White House have yet to comment on the latest allegation but Mr Trump described Ms Newman as a "lowlife" after her initial revelations.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also hit back, saying: "Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations.
"It's sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform."
Ms Manigault Newman also provided NBC's Meet The Press with a recording of Mr Kelly firing her in 2017, in which he said there had been "significant integrity issues".
It was recorded in the White House's situation room – used for events involving national security issues and in which mobile phones are banned.
Ms Sanders also attacked Ms Newman for making the recordings – something which is regarded as a breach of protocol in the US.
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She said: "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."
Ms Newman told NBC there were "multiple tapes" she knew of in which Mr Trump uses the n-word, including one that she had heard – about three minutes long – in which Mr Trump says the word while filming The Apprentice.