Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman

Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White HouseUnhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As others have said, Omarosa is not an admirable character. She’s self-serving, narcissistic (like guess who), and to some at least a sell-out to her race. She also writes very poorly; more on that later. The book will be judged largely on the reader’s political bias, and there’s little to be said about that. But one thing I learned as an FBI agent is that just because a sleazeball is telling you something, that doesn’t mean it’s false. Some of my best, verifiable information came from scummy informants or from defendants who turned on their pals to avoid jail. The book spends way too much time discussing her childhood, her rise to riches through TV, and so forth, nearly all of it portraying her as some sort of poor girl made good through hard work (and winning beauty contests). When she gets to Trump, her accounts really don’t give much that’s new. She describes him pretty much the way he appears on TV – rambling, constantly contradicting himself, attacking others who have not been loyal to him at least in his view, lusting after women including his own daughter, spouting racist language (Mexicans are murderers and rapists, etc.) If she wanted to lie and dump on him, she could have come up with stuff beyond what he himself has done and said publicly. Her main criticism of him, if you want to call it that, is that he is in mental decline. It’s clear as she states at the end, that she still cares about him and considers him her mentor, the one who raised her to fame and riches, even though she recognizes his racism, not only against blacks but also against other minorities like Jews and Puerto Ricans. She is definitely vengeful. Even so, I find her observations credible not so much because I find her credible, but because so much of what she says is visible when he talks on television and in his tweets.

More revealing is how she portrays the Trump family and the Pence contingent. She said that we should think twice about impeaching Trump because three weeks later we’d be dying to get him back. She thinks Ivanka encourages her father’s handsy lust for her and uses it to her advantage. I’m not so sure about that. Ivanka seemed pretty creeped out to me when Trump went after her in public during the campaign and bragged how he would date her if she weren’t his daughter. She has some nice things to say about Melania, though, perhaps surprisingly.

No one is all that interested in this book as a literary piece, but I must state that it is badly written and apparently totally unedited. It’s replete with grammar and spelling errors. I won’t bother to list those, but more disturbing are some of the logical brain benders that made it to print. For example: “Walking into the briefing was like coming through the tunnel of a visiting team’s field.” Huh? She said this about entering a meeting of people she thought were hostile to her. The visiting team’s field would be empty because, well, it’s visiting, not at home that day. If she meant she was in the position of a visiting team, she would be walking into the home team’s field. She repeatedly mentioned that she was like a guardrail protecting the world from the “Trump train.” A train with a guardrail? I don’t think it would do much good stopping a train, and she didn’t.

With all that said, it’s probably a viable and useful insider look at today’s White House and will end up as a source for future historians, so I recommend reading it if you care about what’s happening there.

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