Donald Trump made 'despicable' racist comments in recorded Apprentice meetings, claims former producer

US President alleged to have made racist comments about African Americans and Jews

Maya Oppenheim
Friday 06 October 2017 10:00
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Former Apprentice producer: Trump's behind the scenes comments were ”very much a racist issue”

Donald Trump made “unfathomably despicable” and racist remarks on The Apprentice, according to a former producer on the show.

Bill Pruitt, who worked on the first two seasons of the programme, claimed the US president made a slew of offensive remarks which were caught on camera. He said he was unsure of the exact location of the videos at present.

President Trump, who hosted the reality TV show for 14 years, made racist comments about African-American and Jewish people, according to Mr Pruitt.

“We recorded constantly. We went into the boardroom to set up discussions about how and who should get fired [on the show] without talking and saying directly who got fired, so there was a big, long exchange, all of which was recorded,” he said on NPR’s Embedded podcast which came out on Wednesday.

“Out of those exchanges came some really unfathomably despicable words said by this guy who is a TV star. I heard it. I watched it, and those things are somewhere in some warehouse.”

When pressed more specifically about the content of the tapes and whether they just included disrespectful comments about women, he said: “No, very much a racist issue.” Probed further on whether it was about African-Americans, Jewish people or all of the above,” Mr Pruitt responded “yes”.

Mr Pruitt said that unlike in the infamous Access Hollywood tape, where Mr Trump boasted he was such a “star” he can grab women “by the pussy” and Billy Bush appeared to egg him on, there was no encouragement on The Apprentice set. He said there was not a workplace culture of derogatory remarks.

He said: “When you heard these things, there’s the audible gasp that is quickly followed by a cough, and then you just sort of carry on”.

Mr Pruitt said he did not confront President Trump about the remarks because he did not feel it was his place at the time.

“To be, ‘Hey, TV star, shut your goddam mouth and don’t ever, ever repeat what you just said to anyone ever’ - of course you think that. You go back to your hotel room or your apartment, and you do some soul-searching," he said.

This is not the first time speculation has been raised about President Trump’s behaviour on the NBC reality TV show which the billionaire developer remains an executive producer of.

After a leaked tape from 2005 of President Trump bragging about groping and making unwanted advances on women surfaced last October, Mr Pruitt claimed there were “far worse” comments in behind-the-scenes footage from The Apprentice. He added that it was “just the beginning”.

A month later, Mr Pruitt called for people to stop asking him for the recordings, which werre commonly referred to as the “Trump Tapes” at the time, 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”.

Chris Nee, a different producer, later said she had heard from “producers/crew” that one of those "far worse" comments included President Trump using the N-word.

Mr Pruitt and other producers have not been able to go into what the tapes included due to having signed non-disclosure agreements.

Tom Arnold has also weighed in on the furore, previously claiming Hillary Clinton called him two days before the US election begging him to release footage of President Trump using racist language on The Apprentice.

Last year, the American comedian said the tapes show Mr Trump saying “the N-word” and “every bad thing ever, every dirty, every offensive, racist thing ever”.

A White House spokesman told NPR that the most recent claims made by Mr Pruitt are the “same recycled and false attacks.”

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