Despite a recent statement from President Donald Trump that claimed he had been assured by The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett that there are no tapes of him allegedly saying the N-word during the show’s filming, famed magician Penn Jillette suggested that the tapes do exist, and they are in Burnett’s possession. In a recent interview, he claimed to have personally witnessed Trump making racially offensive comments when he appeared on Celebrity Apprentice’s 2012 season.
Speaking to Vulture’s David Marchese in an interview published Tuesday, Jillette said that he is confident Burnett does indeed have tapes where Trump, who was then hosting Celebrity Apprentice, was saying “damaging things.” He related that he was in the same room at the time Trump allegedly made the comments but chose not to go into full detail because the “stakes are now high” with Trump as president. Jillette, however, said that he would try to tell the story on an emotional level, without delving into the specifics of the matter.
“He would say racially insensitive things that made me uncomfortable,” Penn Jillette alleged.
“I don’t think he ever said anything in that room like ‘African-Americans are inferior’ or anything about rape or grabbing women, but of those two hours every other day in a room with him, every ten minutes was fingernails on [a] chalkboard.”
Jillette also recalled taking stock of his experience with Trump on Celebrity Apprentice and concluding early on that he would turn out to be a “terrible” president. Furthermore, he stressed that he has no respect for Trump and did not enjoy his time on the show, despite claims from his son, Donald Trump Jr., that suggested otherwise.
“I like people when they don’t have filters. I like Tiny Tim. I like Bob Dylan. I like Neil Young. I like Sun Ra. I love the Beat poets. Which means if I’m in a room with Trump I’m happy to hear him talk. But I’m also happy to hear Charlie Manson talk. I have nothing good to say about Donald Trump as president.”
As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, the allegations that Donald Trump was recorded on tape using derogatory language fired up over the past few days, as several publications quoted passages from former White House aide and multiple-time The Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman’s recently released tell-all book, Unhinged. One of the more notable claims made in the book was that Trump repeatedly used the N-word during the filming of the long-running NBC series.
In a Twitter post, Trump denied the claims, saying on Monday evening that Mark Burnett had personally spoken to him to inform him that there are no tapes of him using such “terrible and disgusting” language, as alleged by the “wacky and deranged” Omarosa.