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Following claims made by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman that she had heard audio recordings of Donald Trump saying the N-word, the president responded on Twitter that no such tapes exist.
“@MarkBurnettTV called to say there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa,” Trump tweeted Monday night. “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying…such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired. Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!”
Mark Burnett, who produced the NBC reality series that both Trump and Manigault-Newman starred on, is a friend of the president, though he balked at the claim that he was “pro-Trump” in 2016. “I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign,” he said.
Burnett recently extended his deal with MGM Television.
The rumors of such tapes existing has persisted for the past year and a half, with actor Tom Arnold claiming he is in possession of them. Following Trump’s tweets on Monday night, Arnold sent a few tweets of his own, saying, “Seven @MarkBurnettTV Apprentice Employees gave statements about @realdonaldtrump saying multiple “n” words on the set of @ApprenticeNBC & 100 other horrible things. I spoke to 2 Executive Producers & Mark Burnett in person. They all said Trump’s a liar & there is #TrumpTapes.”
Shortly thereafter the White House released a lengthy statement about the alleged tape. Lynne Patton, a senior official in the Trump Administration, said in a statement: “On December 12, 2017, at approximately 11:30PM (EST) – a date I now know to be the evening Omarosa was relieved of her official duties by General Kelly – I received a telephone call from her informing me that she had personally heard a second-hand recording of President Trump using the ‘N-word’ in a derogatory fashion … She proceeded to tell me the full name of the individual who played this second-hand tape for her, from whom the primary audio tape had originated, as well as the specific context of the President’s usage of this term and to whom the derogatory term was allegedly directed.”
Patton continued: “Today, the individual who Omarosa confirmed to me as having played the second-hand audio recording to her last year confirmed that they have no tape, never had possession of a tape, never claimed to have possession of a tape and never played such a tape for Ms. Manigault-Newman.”
The source in question was Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt, who Patton referred to as a “mutual friend.”
“I just spoke to Bill Pruitt tonight before releasing this statement,” Patton wrote. “He confirmed to me (before Hardball had even gone off the air) that he does NOT have an audio tape of President Trump using the ‘N-word’ and has NEVER had an audio tape of President Trump using the ‘N-word.’ Period.”
Patton then noted, “Based upon her conflicting accounts and the newfound information revealed in my statement, it should be abundantly clear to everyone that not only is her book a complete work of fiction, but that the existence of this elusive ‘N-word’ tape is a figment of her imagination and merely a destructive tool of manipulation applied only when it best serves her interests.”
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