What lengths would Donald Trump and his team go to stop the release of video showing him shouting the n-word? That is the question many people involved in NBC’s production of The Apprentice are asking themselves.
In a surprise admission, comedian/actor Tom Arnold told a Seattle radio station that he, in fact, has a copy of the infamous tape alleged to show Trump using words like “n******,” “c***,” and calling his own children “retards.”
“I have the outtakes to ‘The Apprentice’ where he says every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. I have that.”
The tape was rumored to exist even during the campaign, but on the verge of its release Apprentice producer and Trump supporter Mark Burnett threatened anyone who leaked it with a $5 million breach of contract lawsuit. (Burnett later denied making the threat, shortly before being named Trump’s inauguration event organizer.) The tape stayed hidden. Many people believe that the tape would have been the deciding factor in the election. The tipping point for those Americans somehow not sold on Trump’s vulgarity.
But before we cast too much blame on those who may have the tape and haven’t published it, there is a very real fear that Trump’s cronies would viciously come after anyone who did. As Arnold explained, there is a belief among those who have it that Trump’s storied vindictiveness would turn to destroying them.
“I’ll tell you why. Because when the people sent it to me, it was funny. Hundreds of people have seen these. It was sort of a Christmas video they put together. He wasn’t going to be President of the United States. It was him sitting in that chair saying the N-word, saying the C-word, calling his son a retard, just being so mean to his own children. Oh, this is so funny, this is this guy. The Sunday before the election, I get a call from Arnold [Schwarzenegger’s] CAA agent, sitting next to Hillary Clinton. They said, ‘I need you to release him saying the N-word.’ I said, ‘Well, now these people – two editors and an associate producer — are scared to death. They’re scared of his people, they’re scared of they’ll never work again, there’s a $5 million confidentiality agreement.”
And Trump has already publicly attacked his other critics. After being shamed by a Gold Star family, Trump and his team smeared them as unpatriotic and falsely linked them to radical Islam. And when one of Trump’s victims of sexual harassment spoke out, she was greeted to a 3 am tweet by Trump urging his followers to try to find her (nonexistent) sex tape.
All that being said, whoever had the courage to release this tape would likely be hailed as a hero to many Americans. It could conceivably even be used as part of a portfolio of crimes and scandals in Trump’s impeachment proceedings. In other words: There are four years worth of good reasons to still release the tape.
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