EXCLUSIVE: Tom Arnold hasn’t given up his quest to uncover incriminating evidence against Donald Trump, but his Viceland series The Hunt for the Trump Tapes With Tom Arnold is over. A source said it was only ever intended as an eight-episode series.
But Arnold isn’t done. “I am not quitting until I get all the tapes or Trump resigns, which ever happens first,” he told Deadline. “Every day both things get closer to happening.”
Over the course of the show that premiered September 18, Arnold searched high and low for elusive videotapes allegedly showing Trump in all manner of compromising positions – from the infamous “pee tape” in a Moscow hotel room to an outtake on The Apprentice in which Trump allegedly used the N-word. Arnold hasn’t found the tapes yet, if they exist, but he hasn’t stopped looking.
“His search was fascinating and I loved it,” said Peter Woronov, the supervising producer for the show, which ended up getting middling ratings by Viceland standards. “I truly believe that Tom is doing the right thing. I think he’s on to something. He has a huge heart and has a lot of information. He’s very smart and I love his passion.”
“I’m speaking up,” Arnold said during a freewheeling breakfast last week at The Polo Lounge, “because I’m 59 and I have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter and a 5 1/2-year-old son, and this is the best thing I can do for them. Because one of these days, they’re gonna look back at this time in our country and say, ‘What did my dad do?’ And this is what I’m doing. And this is what I’m doing every day until it’s over. And yeah, I want to save the planet; I want to save the environment and all that, and this is part of all that, because if we all don’t do something right now, it’s gonna be over. There’s bad things happening. I actually can do something and I am doing something.”
Arnold also said the death threats he’s received won’t deter him from his mission. “We’re all gonna die,” he laughed. “So I ignore it. They’re all cowards, as far as I’m concerned. They’re bullies and cowards, and they’re also huge pussies.”
Arnold’s show, described as All the President’s Men meets Curb Your Enthusiasm, got a raucous sendoff two days before its two-episode premiere date, when Arnold accused The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett of attacking him at an Emmys event in Century City.
Arnold, who claims Burnett is holding back secret outtakes of Trump making racist and sexist remarks, tweeted that the producer “just went apesh*t & choked me at this huge Emmy party.” Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey, however, tweeted that Arnold “tried to ambush my husband” at the glitzy charity event. The LAPD subsequently confirmed Arnold had filed a battery report, but said “no arrest was made.”
On his show, Arnold mounted an often comical campaign to pressure powerful Hollywood players like Burnett, super-agent Ari Emmanuel (owner of the Miss Universe Pageant), American Media CEO David Pecker, and TMZ’s Harvey Levin to release any recordings or information they may have on Trump.
He also pestered shock-jock Howard Stern to release his many hours of Trump interviews, and enlisted many of his Hollywood pals in his crusade including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penn Jillette, Judd Apatow and Rosie O’Donnell.
At breakfast, he called out MGM chairman Kevin Ulrich, saying the company could release the Apprentice outtakes if it wanted to.
Arnold during his Trump Tapes quest also tapped into his relationships with veteran investigative journalists like Jane Mayer of the New Yorker and Russian Roulette authors David Corn and Michael Isikoff, as well as longtime Trump watcher, former New York Daily News columnist A.J. Benza. He also sat down with people who have been close to Trump himself, including former business associate Felix Sater and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and teh show even featured a surprise encounter with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.