Omarosa Manigault-Newman
Credit: CBS This Morning/YouTube

I have stayed away from the story about Omarosa Manigault-Newman and her book tour for two reasons. The most important one is that she isn’t telling us anything we didn’t already know about Donald Trump. The fact that he is a liar as well as being racist and sexist is not news to anyone who has even been paying a modicum of attention. This tweet captures the other reason:

Given that, there are couple of things about this story that are worth talking about. The first is that a lot of people in the media seem obsessed with this question:

As Josh Marshall noted, the qualifiers are rather obvious.

The fact that Manigault is herself a con-artist and a grifter barely matters since her tapes speak for themselves. Her lack of character is also hardly a defense since her absurd behavior is as much an indictment of Trump, who hired her, as it is of her.

I suppose that the idea that all of this is some kind of contest of character between Trump and Omarosa makes for good television, but it has no significance at all to our current political situation. The truth is that the president has always surrounded himself with liars and grifters, not to mention criminals. Any staff person who turns on him is going to have a questionable character—see Michael Cohen for exhibit A on that one.

In this culture we are basically programmed to read everything as a good guy vs. bad guy plot. That is never going to be an accurate portrayal of conflicts between Donald Trump and his associates. The only important information that can come out of revelations that surface as people turn on their former boss are things that can be verified. What’s noteworthy is that both Cohen and Manigault (as well as how many others in the White House?) knew from the beginning that Trump could turn on them in a heartbeat and at least occasionally taped their conversations for when that day might come.

The other thing worth noting about this saga is also nothing new, but always important to keep in mind. It is how the current president reacts to situations like this. Here’s his twitter tirade from yesterday:

Manigault is now “Whacky Omarosa” who Trump only kept on because she said GREAT things about him. Oh, and she’s also a vicious, but not smart, lowlife.

Then today, the president went even deeper into the gutter.

You don’t have to be a defender of Omarosa to recognize that the only person who is degraded by that kind of attack is the man who happens to work in the Oval Office right now. He is a shame and disgrace to our country.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.