Donald Trump said there was no way he would let Harvard graduate Kwame Jackson win the first season of The Apprentice because he refused to see a “black f*g” take home the show’s title, the president’s former lawyer claims.
This week, Michael Cohen revealed in an interview that Trump was vehement about picking contestant Bill Rancic over Jackson because he didn’t want an African-American, especially an openly gay one, to win the show. For Trump, that was the deciding factor between the two men, Cohen claimed.
“Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” Cohen told Vanity Fair, via the Associated Press. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.'”
Cohen’s story is the latest in a string of accusations that Trump openly displayed racism while the host of The Apprentice. Earlier this year, former Apprentice villain-turned-White House adviser Omarosa Manigault-Newman said that Trump repeatedly used the N-word while on the show — and there are tapes to prove it.
Others have made the same claim. In late 2016, actor Tom Arnold claimed he had seen the video that Omarosa mentioned, which showed Trump using racist and bigoted language.
“I have the outtakes to The Apprentice where he 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 told the Seattle radio station KIRO, via The Guardian.
Tom Arnold even claimed that a lawyer working with Arnold Schwarzenegger got in touch late in the 2016 campaign cycle and asked him to release the video in an effort to help Hillary Clinton, but the show’s producer and associate producer were scared that they would never work again if it were released. Arnold also claimed there was a $5 million confidentiality agreement associated with the video.
Early in the 2016 campaign cycle, a group of African-American former Apprentice contestants held a press conference denouncing Donald Trump’s bigotry. Kwame Jackson was one of those present.
“Trump has created a toxic ecosystem in our political discourse,” Jackson said, via PBS News. “Trump has appealed to the lowest common denominator of fear, racism and divisiveness in our populace. And this mix is never the path to American progress.”
" Once, when discussing the various winners of past seasons of The Apprentice, Trump explained that, in season one, he decided not to pick finalist Kwame Jackson because “there’s no way I can let this black f-g win.” Via @NYMag @MSNBC @BEThttps://t.co/KI9lbRgFav
— Phillip Sheppard (@PSheppardTV) November 2, 2018
Donald Trump responded to Jackson and the other African-American contestants of The Apprentice by calling them “failing wannabes.”