WASHINGTON — Omarosa Manigault Newman, in the midst of a promotional tour for her new book, “Unhinged,” has revived a topic that was pervasive during President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign: His behavior on the set of “The Apprentice.”
On Monday, she told MSNBC’s “Hardball” that she heard Trump using a racial slur on tape, in reference to first-season contestant Kwame Jackson, who is now a strategic consultant.
But Jackson wants nothing to do with this narrative.
“Hard pass on all things Omarosa, no thank you,” he told Variety via email. “By me commenting or you covering the story, it simply adds fuel and attention to tomfoolery.”
Trump himself referred to an “Apprentice” alum — his business partner Mark Burnett — as proof of his innocence. On Monday, Trump tweeted that Burnett “called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.” On Tuesday, Trump referred to her as a “dog.”
Burnett has so far not commented.
In the circus of the release of Manigault Newman’s book, it appears that some “Apprentice” alums see the best approach as staying out of the fray.
However, Penn Jillette told Vulture that he knows tapes exist of Trump saying racist remarks on “Apprentice.””I was in the room,” Jillette, who appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012, said.
“He would say racially insensitive things that made me uncomfortable,” Jillette recalled without specifying what he actually heard. “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 10 minutes was fingernails on chalkboard.”
Clay Aiken, another “Apprentice” alum who is no fan of Trump’s, also commented, and in a very biting way.
He tweeted on Monday, “America desperately needs something to bring us together. I believe Omarosa may have been sent by God to bring ALL of us together as Americans. Because I think we CAN ALL AGREE about one thing at least … she is dishonest, wretched, and transparently evil, yes?”