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Donald Trump used N-word on camera, says ex-‘Apprentice’ producer – National

A former producer of The Apprentice has alleged Donald Trump was recorded using the N-word to describe one of the show’s contestants during an on-camera meeting two decades ago.

The allegation was made by Bill Pruitt in an article published by Slate on Thursday. The producer revealed he wrote the piece because his “expansive” non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which threatened a US$5-million fine and possible jail time if broken, expired this year.

Pruitt said he was one of four producers to work on the first two seasons of the popular reality TV show.

Trump allegedly used the racial slur during a recorded conversation about the two finalists of The Apprentice‘s first season, Kwame Jackson, a Black broker from Goldman Sachs, and Bill Rancic, a white entrepreneur from Chicago who ran a cigar business.

Pruitt said Trump employee Carolyn Kepcher had been advising Trump about the strengths and weaknesses of the final two contestants during a meeting. She reportedly advocated for Jackson to win the show.

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Trump, who Pruitt said was visibly apprehensive, allegedly asked if America would “buy a n— winning” The Apprentice.

“He is serious, and he is adamant about not hiring Jackson,” Pruitt wrote.

He said showrunner Jay Bienstock opted to record briefings, like the one in which Trump allegedly used the racial slur, not to televise but to best abide by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. According to the FCC, it is forbidden for producers to try and sway the outcome of prize money in reality TV competitions, thereby stopping producers from telling Trump who to fire on The Apprentice. 

Pruitt said there was never any discussion among producers about Trump’s alleged use of the N-word, or that it had been caught on camera.

“Those tapes, I’ve come to believe, will never be found,” Pruitt wrote.

Rancic went on to win The Apprentice and Jackson was fired.

Trump campaign manager Steven Cheung adamantly denied all allegations in Pruitt’s article, and said it is only now being written because Democrats are “desperate.”

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“This is a completely fabricated and bulls—t story that was already peddled in 2016,” Cheung wrote in a statement.

This is not the first time Trump has been accused of using the N-word. In 2018, former White House aide and past The Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman said she’d heard Trump use the slur to describe Jackson.

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Trump denied the claim, which was made in Manigault Newman’s tell-all Unhinged. The former president tweeted at the time, “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have.”

Following Pruitt’s report, a spokesperson for President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris said there should be no surprise about Trump’s alleged use of a slur.

“Donald Trump is exactly who Black voters know him to be: a textbook racist who disrespects and attacks the Black community every chance he gets, and the most ignorant man to run for president,” the spokesperson told Forbes.

Allegations of more bad behaviour

Pruitt also outlined a number of other instances of allegedly poor behaviour from Trump on The Apprentice set.

One such claim maintained the former president ordered a female camera operator off of an elevator because she was “too heavy.”

According to Pruitt, Trump made repeated comments about the appearances of female contestants and was regularly seen “leering” at a female camera assistant.

The producer said Trump compared one woman working as a camera operator, who “happens to have blond hair and blue eyes,” to his daughter Ivanka Trump. Pruitt said Trump called her “beautiful” and told a line of 10 operators that the woman was “all I want to look at.”

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Pruitt’s allegations stretch beyond racism, harassment and lewd behaviour. He wrote that once Trump stiffed an architect who designed the Trump National Golf Club in New York by paying half of the costs upfront, then refusing to pay any invoices after the project was completed. Pruitt said the architect told him the legal fees to sue Trump over the allegedly unpaid work would have been higher than what he was owed.

What happens to Trump now?

Pruitt said two decades after The Apprentice was filmed, he is still “haunted” by the way the show bolstered Trump’s public image and turned him from “a tabloid hustler to respectable household name.”

“No one involved in The Apprentice—from the production company or the network, to the cast and crew—was involved in a con with malicious intent. It was a TV show, and it was made for entertainment. I still believe that,” Pruitt wrote. “But we played fast and loose with the facts, particularly regarding Trump, and if you were one of the 28 million who tuned in, chances are you were conned.”

He fretted that the sneaky editing of Trump’s portions of The Apprentice may have falsely led the public to believe he is a strong, confident and capable leader.

On Thursday, Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments during his 2016 U.S. election campaign.

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He is the first former American president ever convicted on criminal charges.

The verdict marks a watershed moment for the U.S. political system, which has never before had to contend with a convicted felon running for the presidency as the likely nominee of one of the two main parties. Trump faces three other criminal indictments, but it’s unlikely those cases will go to trial before November’s election.

It’s unclear whether prosecutors will seek a prison sentence for Trump. He faces a maximum sentence of four years behind bars for each charge but could see a fine or probation instead.

Trump suggested he will appeal the verdict, saying the case was “far from over.”

Trump still faces another federal criminal case and a related one in Georgia to do with his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election he lost to Biden, which led to the Jan. 6 attack. He also faces federal charges in Florida related to his alleged withholding of classified documents he took with him after leaving the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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— with files from Global News’ Sean Boynton.

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