Producer On ‘The Apprentice’ Claims Donald Trump Used N-Word When Faced With Prospect Of A Black Winner In Show’s First Season

A producer of The Apprentice claims that Donald Trump used the n-word on the set of The Apprentice and that the moment was captured on tape.

Bill Pruitt, who worked on the first seasons of the NBC reality show, writes in a story on Slate that Trump used the word while dismissing the idea that a Black contestant, Kwame Jackson, could be an early winner on the series.

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There has long been intrigue over the outtakes from the show and the possibility that they contained Trump using the racist phrase. Tom Arnold claimed to have seen a tape, and even hosted a reality series of his own positing a hunt for the footage.

In the Slate piece, Pruitt writes that during a discussion with Trump over who should win — Jackson or Bill Rancic, who is white — Trump weighed the choice. According to Pruitt, when informed of some of Jackson’s attributes, Trump said, “Yeah, but, I mean, would America buy a n— winning?”

Pruitt writes that there was surprise among he and the other producers, but “none of us thinks to walk out the door and never return. I still wish I had.”

After shooting the scene where Rancic is favored and wrapping up production, Pruitt wrote, “There is no discussion about what Trump said in the boardroom, about how the damning evidence was caught on tape. Nothing happens.”

Trump’s campaign communications director, Steven Cheung, said in a statement, “This is a completely fabricated and bullshit story that was already peddled in 2016. Nobody took it seriously then, and they won’t now, because it’s fake news. Now that Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrats are losing the election, they are bringing up old fake stories from the past because they are desperate.”

Trump himself denied claims that he used the racial epithet. In 2018, when contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed that she heard the n-word tape, Trump wrote on Twitter, “@MarkBurnettTV called to say that  the re 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.”

Pruitt wrote that he was revealing what he saw on the set now because a highly restrictive and punitive non-disclosure agreement expired this year, with the threat of a $5 million fine and even jail time if he were to violate it.

Pruitt also described the impact of the show as a “long con,” as it was heavily edited to make Trump appear professional and respectable. He recounted meeting the architect of one of Trump’s properties and complimenting him on his work. Then the architect informed him that he had been stiffed by Trump. That aspect of the Trump story was not included in the show.

Pruitt wrote that The Apprentice “elevated Donald J. Trump from sleazy New York tabloid hustler to respectable household name. In the show, he appeared to demonstrate impeccable business instincts and unparalleled wealth, even though his businesses had barely survived multiple bankruptcies and faced yet another when he was cast. By carefully misleading viewers about Trump—his wealth, his stature, his character, and his intent—the competition reality show set about an American fraud that would balloon beyond its creators’ wildest imaginations.”

Joe Biden’s campaign, meanwhile, seized on the story.

Jasmine Harris, the campaign’s Black media director, said in a statement, “No one is surprised that Donald Trump, who entered public life by falsely accusing Black men of murder and entered political life spreading lies about the first Black president, reportedly used the N-word to casually denigrate a successful Black man. Anyone notice a pattern? Donald Trump is exactly who Black voters know him to be: a textbook racist who disrespects and attacks the Black community every chance he gets, and the most ignorant man to ever run for president. It’s why Black voters kicked him out of the White House in 2020, and it’s why they’ll make him a loser a second time this November.”

The Biden campaign later resurfaced a clip of Omarosa telling then Meet the Press host Chuck that she had heard the tape.

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