As Donald Trump works to recover from the damage done by the recently leaked tape from 2005, Democrats are planning a one-two punch.
Bill Pruitt, a former producer for the first two seasons of Trump’s “The Apprentice” TV show, claims that far worse ‘hot mic’ comments from Trump exist — but there would be serious financial consequences if the tapes were to be released. According to NYMag: Chris Nee – a Clinton supporter who did not work on The Apprentice – tweeted that according to producers and crew members she has spoken with, those tapes include Trump using the N-word. Nee makes it clear that she has not seen or heard the tapes herself, so the existence of any such recording remains no more than a rumor at this point.
— Bill Pruitt (@billpruitt) October 8, 2016
Nee also claims that anyone caught releasing the footage would have to pay as much as a $5 million leak fee, per their contract with Apprentice executive producer Mark Burnett. Burnett, according to Buzzfeed News, is a Trump supporter and has already threatened to sue Apprentice staffers if they decide to leak outtakes from the show.
— Chris Nee (@chrisdocnee) October 9, 2016
Folks, I have never worked on The Apprentice. I don't know what's out there. Or what still exists. I've heard rumors. Would love to know.— Chris Nee (@chrisdocnee) October 9, 2016
There is no proof of any of this, of course, as the tapes haven’t been released.
However, despite the $5 million penalty, they’re very well may still be released. As Buzzfeed reported: The head of a pro-Clinton SuperPAC suggested Sunday that he would cover the legal expenses of staffers on the show The Apprentice who leak damaging footage of Donald Trump.
“If a $5 million ‘leak fee’ is what stands between truth and total Trump implosion, sign me up,” said David Brock, the founder of American Bridge and a leading Clinton ally, in an email to BuzzFeed News.
As for the legitimacy of these claims: time will tell. Trump was able to draw a distinction last night’s debate between his 2005 words and the egregious actions by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Let’s hope the rest of the American public sees it that way too.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]