In Omarosa Manigault-Newman’s tell all book “Unhinged,” she claims that the 2016 rumors were true and there is a tape of President Trump using the N-word while filming his reality television show “The Apprentice” (no such tape has been proven to exist yet). She also claims that she was involved in a phone call with Trump’s campaign aides where they discussed how to spin the tape if it was leaked. On Tuesday, a tape of the alleged phone conversation was provided to CBS.
In the recording, Trump’s campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson says she is attempting to find out in what context Trump used the N-word so that they can “try to figure out a way to spin it.” Trump aide Lynne Patton then reveals a conversation she had with Trump about the tape. “I said, well, sir, can you think of anytime that this might have happened and he said, no,” she says. At the end of the tape, Pierson seems to claim that she thinks Trump did say the word when she says, “He said. No, he said it. He is embarrassed by it.” The audio clearly reveals that the Trump aides had not heard the recording at the time of the phone conversation.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Pierson completely denied discussing the tape with Patton and Manigault-Newman in a phone conversation. She said, “That did not happen, it sounds like she’s [Manigault-Newman] writing a script for a movie.” However, after the phone conversation tape was released on Tuesday, the recording conflicts with Pierson’s original statement. She has yet to respond to the new tape.
Also on Monday, Trump claimed that “The Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett confirmed there are no tapes from the show where Trump uses the N-word. He goes on to say that word is not in his vocabulary.
However, Manigault-Newman's claims aren't the first when it comes to the alleged N-word tape. The day after the Washington Post published the infamous pussy-grabbing Access Hollywood tape during the 2016 campaign, an “Apprentice” producer Bill Pruitt tweeted this:
MGM and Burnett released a joint statement that they did not have the “ability nor right” to release footage from the filming of “The Apprentice.” In a 2017 NPR podcast Pruitt revealed the remarks Trump made during filming were “very much a racist issue.”
Following Trump's election, actor Tom Arnold claimed he had the outtakes where Trump allegedly said the N-word. He claimed Trump “says every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. It was him sitting in that chair saying the N-word, saying the C-word, calling his son a retard, just being so mean to his own children.” Arnold is currently filming a television show with Viceland called “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold.”
On Tuesday, comedian and magician Penn Jillette also seemed to back up Manigault-Newman's claims in an interview with Vulture. He claims that during his time as a contestant on “The Apprentice” in 2013, he heard Trump “say racially insensitive things that made [him] uncomfortable.” During the interview Jillette was asked directly “Does Mark Burnett have tapes of President Trump saying damaging things during Celebrity Apprentice?” Jillette responded, “Yeah, I was in the room” However, when asked about the specifics of what Trump said Jillette refused to disclose more information. “If Donald Trump had not become president, I would tell you all the stories,” he said. “But the stakes are now high and I am an unreliable narrator.”
For now, we aren't that much closer to finding out if the tape of Trump saying the N-word is real. However, we do know that Manigault-Newman's claims about a phone conversation with Trump's campaign aides is real, and they were trying to spin the alleged tape. Meanwhile, Trump is employing his usual defense method: constantly attacking Manigault-Newman on Twitter. To prove to the world that Manigault-Newman is lying and he isn't a racist, Trump tweeted this racially charged statement on Tuesday:
It wasn’t very convincing.