“For years, Donald Trump’s former ‘Apprentice’ colleagues have been sounding off on the potential existence of damning footage from the series’s cutting-room floor: alleged tapes of him using racist language including the N-word during his time as a pretend executive on the NBC reality program,” Vanity Fair reports today in a piece examining the latest rumblings on the alleged Trump “Apprentice” tapes front.
The issue of the existence or non-existence of the tapes surfaced again in connection with a new profile of “Apprentice” executive producer Mark Burnett published by The New Yorker, which we reported on separately today.
“The president has denied that any such footage exists, and the purported tapes have taken on a kind of mythical media status,” Vanity Fair reports. “The mystery surrounding the alleged tapes has entangled an impressive cast of characters — including Omarosa Manigault Newman and Tom Arnold, who launched an entire Viceland series documenting his hunt for the tapes.”
The New Yorker profile, Vanity Fair notes, “suggests that the efforts might be for naught. At least two sources expressed their own doubts that tapes of Trump using the N-word exist.
Jonathon Braun, who worked on ‘The Apprentice’ in the reality show’s early years, is quoted in The New Yorker piece saying: “I was the supervising editor on the first six seasons. . . . I didn’t watch every frame, but in everything I saw I didn’t hear him saying anything so horrible.”
Vanity Fair notes that Braun “added that editors on such programs often create and internally circulate compilations of inappropriate or embarrassing moments caught on tape during production. ‘If there was a tape,’ he said, ‘it would have spread like wildfire.’”
An anonymous staffer on “The Apprentice” gave a similar quote to The New Yorker, saying: “If somebody had the goods, it would have leaked long ago. There were no Trump fans on the set. I don’t know a single person who worked on the show who voted for Trump.”
Vanity Fair adds: “Whether or not the tape exists, however, Braun pointed out that the search seems futile. ‘We’ve seen that it doesn’t matter,’ he said. ‘He now says plenty of things that are outwardly racist, misogynist, and fascist. It just doesn’t hurt him.’”