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Trump Allegedly Used THAT Racial Slur on "The Apprentice"

This is another story left over from last week, so many readers will know about it by now. The first wave of The Apprentice non-disclosure agreements has just expired (after 20 years), and former producer Bill Pruitt spilled his guts to Slate.

The Pruitt piece was published just hours before the Trump verdict came down last week, and of course the verdict sucked up all the oxygen. But in his tell-all, Pruitt confirms two things that everyone already knew (or at least suspected). First, that the show had to work very hard to make Trump look like a shrewd, successful businessman, because in the real world he was not those things. Second, that Trump made use of racial slurs. In particular, Pruitt claims that when the first season finale came down to Kwame Jackson, a Black broker from Goldman Sachs, and Bill Rancic, a white entrepreneur from Chicago, Trump asked "I mean, would America buy a ni**er winning?"

Even if this story had not been buried by news of the verdict, it alone would not have changed anything. Again, this scuttlebutt has been out there since 2015, enough so that the comedian Tom Arnold even had a reality TV show dedicated to finding the "smoking gun" tape (or tapes). Things would be different, however, if such a tape were actually to come to light. Certainly, even if there was footage of Trump saying the mother of all racial slurs, Republicans would fall in line behind whatever excuse he came up with (see above for another example). But live footage is hard to explain away, and a tape of The Donald saying that word would absolutely do him some serious damage.

So, is there any chance the footage exists and is made public? Truth be told, our guess is that it was preemptively destroyed a long time ago, probably by The Apprentice executive producer Mark Burnett. However, if it does still exist, it now belongs to... Jeff Bezos and Amazon. And, as with Pruitt, any legal duty to keep quiet has now expired. Meanwhile, as Slate's Jeremy Stahl points out, it is within the government's powers to subpoena the footage, if it still exists. A congressional committee could do it, so could the FCC. (Whether they want to go fishing, and deal with the potential embarrassment of coming up empty, is a good question.)

What it amounts to is yet another "unknown" among the many unknowns that are a part of this election cycle. The odds are that nothing comes of this. But you never know... (Z)

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