On 19 December 2016 several articles reported actor Tom Arnold’s claims that he possesses “racist recordings” involving President-Elect Donald Trump gleaned from unused footage for Trump’s television program The Apprentice:
During the presidential election it was heavily rumored a recording existed of President-elect Donald Trump saying racial slurs on the set of “The Apprentice.” Now a major Hollywood star has come forward to say that they possess the recording … While giving an interview on KIRO Radio in Seattle to promote a new performance comedian Tom Arnold announced that he has the recording, and that it has been listened to by hundreds of individuals. Arnold said, “I have the outtakes to ‘The Apprentice’ where he says every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. I have that.”
Apparently, according to Arnold, the recording exists as a compilation of Trump’s racist and abusive behavior while on set which was created by the show’s producers. Arnold went on to say:
Because when the people sent it to me, it was funny. Hundreds of people have seen these. It was sort of a Christmas video they put together. He wasn’t going to be President of the United States. 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. Oh, this is so funny, this is this guy.
A separate news report stated Arnold’s reason for not releasing the material he supposedly possessed:
Arnold doesn’t appear to be joking in his claims and is asked about why he didn’t release the tapes multiple times. Here is one explanation for why he never released the tapes:
I’ll tell you why. Because when the people sent it to me, it was funny. Hundreds of people have seen these. It was sort of a Christmas video they put together. He wasn’t going to be President of the United States. 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. Oh, this is so funny, this is this guy. The Sunday before the election, I get a call from Arnold’s CAA agent, sitting next to Hillary Clinton. They said, ‘I need you to release him saying the N-word.’ I said, ‘Well, now these people — two editors and an associate producer — are scared to death. They’re scared of his people, they’re scared of they’ll never work again, there’s a $5 million confidentiality agreement.’
After the interview, Arnold responded to several Twitter users asking about the purported tapes and his reason for not releasing them earlier (or ever):
Agre F-ME. Complicated. just been my career or death threats FO would’ve in Oct. I’ve Heard $ ruin death threats 4, 30 yr. Norm folks scared https://t.co/Kgi9TWTrFz
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) December 20, 2016
A few days later, Arnold posted a tweet asserting he had been contacted by representatives for President-Elect Trump about the claims:
Wife told me there’s house line VM from Trump Camp about defamation suit so it’s on! Open Apprentice vaults 4 discovery! Miss Universe too!!
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) December 21, 2016
As of now, Arnold has neither released the purported videos nor shared them (even privately) with any news outlets to substantiate his claims, and we could find no corroborating claims from the purported hundreds of people who the actor suggested had also seen the tapes. Although it’s certainly possible Arnold is telling the truth, no verifiable evidence that Trump videos in question exist and are in Arnold’s possession has come to light.