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Did President Trump secretly utter the N-word while starring on “The Apprentice” as many have whispered over the years?
The answers, according to a new piece from The New Yorker is probably “no.” In a deep dive into the relationship between Trump and “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett published Thursday, New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe spoke with several former show insiders who said if such an explosive recording existed it would have leaked by now.
“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,” an anonymous show employee told Keefe.
On the record, Jonathan Braun, a longtime senior editor on the show, also said he thought the idea of an N-word tape was bogus.
“I was the supervising editor on the first six seasons,” he told Keefe. “I didn’t watch every frame, but in everything I saw, I didn’t hear him saying anything so horrible.”
A third staffer pointed out that Trump was never alone on set and was constantly being watched by up to a hundred people, in contrast to his infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump had assumed he was alone.
The piece by Keefe estimated that there could be as much as 60,000 hours of unaired footage and outtakes from Trump’s time on ‘The Apprentice” and it’s unclear how much of it has ever been reviewed.
Even if an N-word tape did exist, people close to the show also said it would be impossible to release because it would open up M-G-M Television — which now owns Burnett’s company — to a lawsuit.
“Mark Burnett cannot release the tapes. Period. Even if Mark Burnett wanted to release the tapes, Mark Burnett cannot release the tapes,” a lawyer for M-G-M told Keefe. “These are binding obligations, which means that if M-G-M were to violate them — by releasing footage not just of Trump but of anyone who appeared with him onscreen — the studio could be sued.”
Still rumors of an N-word tape continue to persist and were most recently stoked by former White House aide and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault, who bluntly declared in her White House tell-all that the N-word tape did exist and that Trump said the word “multiple times” on set. Omarosa has said, however, that she never personally heard Trump say the word and cited three unnamed sources for her explosive claim.