After public allegations from Omarosa that Donald Trump used racist language including the N-word, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she “can’t guarantee” that a tape of Trump using the slur doesn’t exist.
Trump has been the target of a number of allegations from his former White House adviser and popular villain from The Apprentice. Omarosa Manigault Newman has accused Trump of showing racism, sexism, and of offering a $15,000-per-month hush payment to keep her quiet about what she had seen and heard. Now, as The Hill reported, the White House said they are unable to prove that the allegations are false.
“I can’t guarantee anything,” Sanders responded after being asked if she can assure the public that there is no tape of Donald Trump using the N-word. Sanders said she had never heard Trump say the word, but added that she had not “been in every single room” as the president.
Trump has also been under fire for his response to Omarosa, calling her a “dog” in a tweet on Tuesday in what many saw as an attack on her race and gender. Sanders denied that, saying Trump is “an equal-opportunity person who calls things like he sees it.”
There had long been allegations of video from Trump’s time on The Apprentice showing Trump using racist language, with actor Tom Arnold repeating the allegations all the way during Trump’s 2016 campaign for president. Others who appeared on The Apprentice confirmed that Trump has used racially insensitive language, including comedian Penn Jillette who said on Tuesday that he remembers Trump using such language but could not recall the exact details.
There is other evidence that such a tape could exist. On Tuesday, CBS News reported that it obtained a tape of campaign staffers discussing how to deal with the fallout of the tape when it is released.
While the existence of any tapes of Donald Trump using the N-word remains a mystery, many are taking aim at the president for the language he used in attacking Omarosa. As Vox noted, Trump has a pattern of saving his harshest abuse for critics who are black, especially black women.
“Whether it’s a knowing choice from the president or it stems from his utter lack of restraint, the attacks reflect his twin contempt for women and nonwhites,” Jamelle Bouie wrote for Slate. “Trump pushes back against most criticism, but when it comes from a prominent black woman, the response is more aggressive, more interested in making a spectacle — and an example.”
Donald Trump has denied the allegation that there is a tape of him using the N-word, saying he does not use such language.