Donald Trump tapes: Incriminating 'Apprentice' footage is still out there, claims TV producer

Staff claim President-elect said 'far worse' things on the show than in the now notorious Access Hollywood recording

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The Independent US

A TV producer has insisted he does not have access to the infamous "Trump tapes", but has pointed to a man he claims "knows where they are".

After an Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump boasting about getting away with sexual assault was leaked to the Washington Post in October, Bill Pruitt, who worked on the first two seasons of The Apprentice, claimed there were “far worse” comments in behind-the-scenes footage from the reality TV contest, which Mr Trump judged from 2004 to 2015.

Mr Pruitt  said on Tuesday that people should stop asking him for the recordings, now commonly referred to as the "Trump Tapes", and should instead ask the show's creator, Mark Burnett. 

"I don't have them. I wish I did" Mr Pruitt said in a tweet ending "#notmypresident".

Mr Burnett came under intense pressure to release outtakes from The Apprentice after the Access Hollywood tape was made public, but did not share the footage.

Since Mr Trump's shock election victory, demand to see the tapes has mounted again.

In the Access Hollywood tape, Mr Trump, egged on by presenter Billy Bush, who is a cousin of George and Jeb Bush, said he used his fame to try and “f***” women, and groped them without consent.

“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Mr Trump said, in the recording from 2005. “You can do anything.”

The President-elect then said that when he met beautiful women he felt able to “grab them by the p***y”.

The Apprentice creator Mr Burnett and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, which owns the rights to the show, said in a joint statement at the time that they did “not have the ability nor the right” to release the material, citing “various contractual and legal requirements”.

It was rumoured legal red tape could include a £5 million fine, but civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred and many others argued the footage should be shared despite any penalty because it was “in the public interest". 

Mr Burnett responded in a statement to speculation he would not release the tapes because he supported Mr Trump.

“Given all of the false media reports, I feel compelled to clarify a few points," he said. "I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT 'Pro-Trump.' Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”

Amid petitioning, crowd-funding and publicity stunts, people who appeared on The Apprentice added to speculation about what the tapes might contain. 

Randal Pinkett, who won the competition in December 2005, told the AP he remembered Mr Trump talking about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with, even though Mr Trump had married former model Melania Knauss earlier that year: “He was like ‘Isn’t she hot, check her out,’ kind of gawking, something to the effect of ‘I’d like to hit that.’”

Former producer Katherine Walker said Mr Trump speculated about which female contestant would be “a tiger in bed”.

The Trump campaign denied the claims, calling them “outlandish” and “unsubstantiated”.

Mr Trump was fired from hosting The Apprentice by NBC in 2015, after making controversial comments about Mexican immigrants while launching his campaign for president.

He has been replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger for an upcoming season.

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