A Timeline Of Donald Trump's Alleged N-Word Video
Getty Images

A Timeline Of Donald Trump's Alleged N-Word Video

A $5 million NDA, allegedly, kept it from being discussed.

Bill Pruitt was one of four producers on the hit television series The Apprentice. The show had a habit of taping the briefings received by Donald Trump about the top candidates, which would inform his selection as to who was fired at the end of the show. The briefings were never intended to be aired. They were to ensure compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations after the 1950s quiz show scandals. It’s now illegal to sway the outcome of prize money in reality TV competitions. The videos were documentation that the producers didn’t rig the show. It was Trump himself that rigged the outcomes.

Like the other employees on The Apprentice, Pruitt signed an NDA that kept him from talking about his time on the show for twenty years. This one was more excessive than the NDA Trump had Stormy Daniels sign, calling for her to pay $1 million each time she violated it. The NDA for The Apprentice workers stipulated a $5 million fine and suggested jail time was possible. Pruitt kept his mouth shut for twenty years, and now that time has expired.

At the end of The Apprentice’s first season, the final contestants were Kwame Jackson, a Black broker from Goldman Sachs, and Bill Rancic, a white entrepreneur from Chicago who ran a cigar business. One of the producers, Carolyn Kepcher, advised Trump that Jackson was the stronger candidate. Always concerned about ratings, Trump allegedly asked if America would “buy a n***** winning” The Apprentice. Pruitt wrote, “He is serious, and he is adamant about not hiring Jackson.” Jackson was ultimately fired.

Omarosa Manigault Newman says she heard Trump describe Jackson using that term and wrote about it in her 2018 book, “Unhinged.” Trump responded to the claim, denying he’d ever used the word.

Trump campaign manager Steven Cheung responded to Pruitt’s account with a denial. “This is a completely fabricated and bull**** story that was already peddled in 2016.”

Jeremy Stahl of Slate Magazine wrote an article about how to find the missing tape. The tape would have been in the hands of the production company then owned by Mark Burnett. Burnett, a Trump supporter, is alleged to have pressured staffers not to divulge behind-the-scenes information about the show, threatening to end their professional careers. Burnett denied the threats, but several former employees said they were true.

Related: Now is the Perfect to Ruin Donald Trump's Life

Burnett has since sold his production company to MGM, which presumably would have possession of the tapes in question. The recordings allegedly include quotes of Trump calling contestant Lil Jon an “Uncle Tom”—even after several producers begged Trump to stop. He kept making crude comments about how badly he wanted to “fuck” and “marry” celebrity contestant and Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick. (Trump was married to Melania Trump at the time).

If the tapes were found and released, there is little reason to believe Trump followers or the right-wing media that props him up would care in the least. We’ve seen videos before of Trump describing boorish behavior. He’s been found liable for rape, convicted of fraud, and is a convicted felon. Trump has openly associated with white supremacists and called Neo-Nazis and skinheads “very fine people.”

Does anyone think his people will care about his use of the N-word? Tim Scott and Byron Donalds will try to explain that it happened twenty years ago and that Trump is a changed man and wasn’t lying when he said he’d never used the word. He forgot. In parts of Trump’s universe, using the N-word will be seen as a badge of honor. Proof positive he’s one of them. It might even garner him additional votes.

This post originally appeared on Medium and is edited and republished with author's permission. Read more of William Spivey's work on Medium. And if you dig his words, buy the man a coffee.