A portrait of TV producer Mark Burnett that focuses on how his reality show The Apprentice burnished Donald Trump’s image also claims that the long-rumored tape of the President uttering a racial slur does not exist.
The New Yorker story spoke with several staffers on Trump’s former NBC show, The Apprentice. Although they claimed Trump occasionally made insensitive comments about women, he never made a racial comment during his 14-season run. The story claims The Apprentice made Trump “an icon of American success,” at least when the cameras were on.
But in more casual moments, Trump would say things that some found offensive.
“He wasn’t going around saying ‘p****, p****, p****’ all the time,’ said Katherine Walker, a producer for the show. Another, unidentified employee claimed, “He’d say, ‘How about those boobs? Wouldn’t you like to f*** her?”
The biggest reveal came from Jonathon Braun, an editor on the show, who denied that Trump said the n-word on a tape, as some have claimed. “I was the supervising editor on the first six seasons,” Braun said. “I didn’t watch every frame, but in everything I saw, I didn’t hear him saying anything so horrible.”
Gag reels of cast members highlighting off-color or embarrassing moments were commonly circulated, Braun said. Any such racial comment would have been noticed. “If there was a tape, it would have spread like wildfire,” Braun said.
Another staffer from The Apprentice backed up that claim. “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.”
The anonymous source added that cameras were always on at the crowded set, unlike another situation where Trump was caught on tape using offensive language against women. “In the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, Donald was on a bus. He thought he was alone. He never thought he was alone in the boardroom. It was a set.”
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former White House aide, and actor Tom Arnold have claimed they have heard the tapes. Neither has offered proof.
President Trump has always denied the claims. He tweeted in August, “@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”