Trump campaign wants Omarosa to buy $1 million in ads — and it might be illegal: report
Omarosa Manigault Newman on MSNBC (screengrab)

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that officials with President Donald Trump's campaign wanted former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman to take out a $1 million "corrective" ad campaign taking back the negative statements she made about him on TV and in her book.


"The recommendation was made in a document filed by the Trump campaign from an expert witness last week as part of an ongoing arbitration case; The Times reviewed the document," reported Maggie Haberman. "The witness, Eric W. Rose, a crisis management expert, detailed a lengthy advertising proposal across several platforms that would cost just over $846,000. He did not suggest a time frame by which the ad campaign would need to take place. But the proposal mentions several times the impressions Ms. Manigault Newman’s comments could have left with 'voters,' and was filed a few weeks before the election."

“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,” said Rose. “If corrective ads are not placed, voters may continue to hold beliefs about the president as a result of Ms. Manigault Newman’s statements.”

According to Paul S. Ryan, director of the government watchdog group Common Cause, such an arrangement would constitute "an illegally large in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign," and that even if she didn't fund the ad herself, her appearance in it would have an in-kind value greater than the $2,800 federal limit to individual campaign contributions.

Allies of the president have reportedly tried several times to silence Omarosa's criticism of the administration. In 2018, she alleged that the Trump campaign offered her a $15,000 per month hush agreement. And last year, attorneys with the Department of Justice sued Omarosa alleging financial disclosure violations.