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Penn Jillette Says He Witnessed Trump Making ‘Racially Insensitive’ Remarks on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Aug 15, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Magician Penn Jillette, who was a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012, says that Donald Trump made “racially insensitive” remarks during the show.

Jillette talked about the series during an interview published by New York magazine’s Vulture website on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The interview was conducted by David Marchese. Jillette is part of the magic team Penn & Teller.

During the interview Marchese asks Jillette whether producer Mark Burnett has tapes of Trump saying damaging things during “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Penn Jillette: Yeah, I was in the room.

David Marchese: You’ve heard him say —
Jillette: Oh, yeah.

Marchese: Can you tell me what you’ve heard him say?
Jillette: No. If Donald Trump had not become president, I would tell you all the stories. But the stakes are now high and I am an unreliable narrator. What I do, as much as anything, is I’m a storyteller. And storytellers are liars. So I can emotionally tell you things that happened racially, sexually, and that showed stupidity and lack of compassion when I was in the room with Donald Trump and I guarantee you that I will get details wrong. I would not feel comfortable talking about what I felt I saw in that room — because when I was on that show I was sleeping four to five hours a night. I was uncomfortable. ‘Stress’ is the wrong word, but I was not at my best. Then at the end of a day, they put you in a room and they bring out a guy [Trump] who has no power whatsoever and he’s capricious and petty…

Later in the interview Jillette says that Trump “would say racially insensitive things that made me uncomfortable. I don’t think he ever said anything in that room like ‘African-Americans are inferior’ or anything about rape or grabbing women, but of those two hours every other day in a room with him, every ten minutes was fingernails on chalkboard. He would ask one cast member if he’d rather have sex with this woman or that woman…

Jillette was on the fifth season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which ran on NBC from Feb. 19-May 20, 2012. He was fired off the show during its 11th week, on April 22, 2012, just four weeks before that season’s finale.

The Hollywood Reporter, writing about the Vulture interview, says, “The infamous tapes that have dogged Trump since his campaign are once again in the news after former White House staffer and reality star Omarosa Manigault Newman said she heard the tapes, which allegedly include Trump using the N-word during production of the NBC series, which he hosted.

“Manigault Newman is on a high-profile media blitz for her tell-all book about working on the Trump campaign and her time in the White House before she was fired. She has released tapes in the last few days of alleged conversations with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump that she claims she secretly recorded.”

Here are Trump’s two tweets on Tuesday about any “Celebrity Apprentice” tapes that may exist with him saying the N-word:

@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying…

“….such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired. Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!”

To read the full interview with Penn Jillette, please click here, which will take you to the Vulture site. If you scroll down in the interview you will eventually get to the part where Jillette talks about Trump.


  1. Every one says Trump is prejudicial and misogynistic. I wonder if the opposite is true. He sees everyone as equal, so it doesn’t even occur to him that what he says can be construed as offensive.

    • You might have something there… if he referred to whites as crackers etc.

      Also, for someone who has been so offensive/rude/inconsiderate to the leadership of various nations, he has shown a contrarily remarkable amount of regard/deference to Putin. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it were’t for the fact that Putin, his regime, and you-know-who in N. Korea are the inheritors of the inherent corruption of the socialist/communist systems that plagued the world for nearly a century. Considering the politics of T’s rank and file followers (whose grandparents and great grandparents were the anti-communist patriots of the 40s, 50s and 60s), T’s dilly-dallying with Putin ought be raising their hackles instead of cheering him on. It would be like the descendants of Joe McCarthy being overjoyed at seeing Joe being buddy-buddy, smiling and embracing Nikita Khrushchev.

  2. Calling everyone disgusting things doesn’t make it better. Sorry.

    Why are you interested in finding excuses to justify what you would likely never tolerate from anyone else in a similar position?

  3. So sad Penn has fallen to the level where he needs to drum up PR like this,

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