Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Donald Trump’s former rival for the Republican presidential nomination who endorsed him two weeks ago, is questioning why NBC didn’t release the “Access Hollywood” tape, which features Trump saying lewd comments about women, earlier.
Cruz tweeted on Sunday, “NBC had tape 11 yrs. Apprentice producer says they have more & worse. So why not release in 2015? In March? Why wait till October? #MSMBias”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 9, 2016
Other Trump supporters have raised the same question.
On Saturday, Bill Pruitt, a former producer of “The Apprentice,” raised speculation that more Trump comments were caught on outtakes from the show.
“As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng,” Pruitt wrote on Twitter.
“The Apprentice” executive producer Mark Burnett owned the material and later sold his company to MGM Television. He serves as president.
Burnett has not responded to requests for comment. He has largely stayed quiet about the presidential race, despite his association with Trump. He has not contributed to any candidate this cycle, but gave to Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign, the Democratic National Committee in 2009 and to Democrat Allison Grimes’ Senate campaign against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A source connected to the show said that Trump’s segments required heavy editing.
“Access Hollywood” and NBC News had been working on pieces about the Trump tape, but were scooped when it was leaked to the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold. According to a story in the Post on Saturday, the “Access” and NBC News pieces were delayed because company lawyers were reviewing the content.
Legal experts doubt that Trump would have a valid claim, even on privacy grounds. One potential issue would be California’s law requiring that recorded conversations have multi-party consent. But it was clear from the tape that Trump had a microphone on him at the time.