Magician and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Penn Jillette told Vulture that television producer Mark Burnett has tapes of Donald Trump saying “racially insensitive things” from when the president hosted the NBC show.
“I don’t think he ever said anything in that room like ‘African-Americans are inferior’ or anything about rape or grabbing women,” Jillette said. “But of those two hours every other day in a room with him, every 10 minutes was fingernails on [a] chalkboard. He would ask one cast member if he’d rather have sex with this woman or that woman.”
Actor Tom Arnold has also told CNN that he’s in possession of damaging Celebrity Apprentice tapes of Trump that the public hasn’t heard yet, and which will be featured in his upcoming Viceland show The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.
Jillette confirmed the existence of the tapes but said he didn’t want to attempt to repeat anything Trump said verbatim because he didn’t want to be inaccurate.
“If Donald Trump had not become president, I would tell you all the stories. But the stakes are now high and I am an unreliable narrator,” Jillette said.
Jillette said he didn’t “feel comfortable talking about what [he] felt [he] saw in that room,” because when he was on the show, he was apparently getting four to five hours of sleep at night.
“So I can emotionally tell you things that happened racially, sexually, and that showed stupidity and lack of compassion when I was in the room with Donald Trump and I guarantee you that I will get details wrong," he added.
Jillette’s Vulture interview follows the publication of former Celebrity Apprentice and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman's tell-all book, Unhinged. Manigault Newman claims that she heard a tape of Trump repeatedly using the n-word during outtakes of Celebrity Apprentice.
Manigault Newman said on MSNBC Monday night that the president’s team had a prepared response in case the tape were ever released to the public. While a tape has never come out, she said that “three sources in three separate conversations had described the contents of this tape” to her.
“They all told me that President Trump hadn’t just dropped a single n-word bomb,” she wrote in the book. “He’d said it multiple times throughout the show’s taping during off-camera outtakes, particularly during the first season of The Apprentice.”
The White House has denied the existence of these tapes, and Trump tweeted on Monday that show creator Mark Burnett called him “to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where [he] 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,” the president wrote.
Arnold, however, called Trump’s tweet “bullshit” and said that seven people who worked on the television show “gave statements about @realdonaldtrump saying multiple ‘n’ words on the set,” and that Burnett had confirmed to him there are tapes of Trump.
“You’ve heard Trump ramble when he thinks he’s being careful,” Jillette told Vulture. “Imagine when he feels he can be frank.”