In a piece titled "How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success," people who worked on the hit NBC reality television competition series came out of the woodwork to spill behind-the-scenes dirt on what it was really like working with the future POTUS.
While discussing the possibility of the existence of a tape featuring the former TV host uttering the N-word, multiple staffers said it's unlikely, despite what Tom Arnold and Omarosa have claimed, simply because nobody working on the show actually liked the star of the project, and therefore believe it would have leaked by now.
"If there was a tape, it would have spread like wildfire," said editor Jonathon Braun, who worked on the first six seasons of "The Apprentice." Another unidentified staffer made the same point: "If somebody had the goods, it would have leaked long ago."
"There were no Trump fans on the set," the anonymous former "Apprentice" crew member continued. "I don't know a single person who worked on the show who voted for Trump."
Braun said "most" of the production team working on the reality show Burnett launched in 2004 knew Trump was not the brilliant, rich real estate mogul he was presenting himself as after multiple bankruptcies and business failures drove his company into the ground.
"Most of us knew he was a fake," the editor said. "He had just gone through I don't know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king."
Producer Bill Pruitt recalled, "We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise."
Trump Was 'A Joke' to the Finance World
Kwame Jackson, an African-American Harvard graduate and standout contestant on the first season of the show, said he was not impressed with Trump. He told Keefe he only competed because he thought "The Apprentice" could serve as a platform for his own career advancement, not for any guidance or mentorship from Trump, which was the coveted prize -- a job at the Trump Organization.
Jackson said he was amused by contestants who took Trump seriously, and was surprised by how hard America fell for the ruse the reality TV cameras were creating.
"Main Street America saw all those glittery things, the helicopter and the gold-plated sinks, and saw the most successful person in the universe," he said. "The people I knew in the world of high finance understood that it was all a joke."
Season 4 winner Randal Pinkett spilled this intriguing allegation about the show's grand prize while detailing his distaste for Trump. "It wasn't even his money," he said while explaining his position at the Trump Organization was paid for by the network that produced "The Apprentice."
And Pinkett didn't enjoy working for Trump, either, because he felt the company was using him as a tool to persuade African-American communities to support Trump's real estate projects.
"The closer I got to Donald, the less I liked what I saw," he said. "It's like a person with bad breath."
Michael Cohen has said it, Omarosa has said it, and now Pinkett is saying it, too. The Season 4 winner told The New Yorker that Trump initially asked him to share the title with a white contestant, a request Pinkett rejected.
"The only conclusion I can draw is that he didn't want to see a black man be the sole winner of his show," he said.
His conclusion supports Cohen's claim to Vanity Fair that Trump didn't choose Kwame Jackson to win the first season of "The Apprentice" because of his ethnicity and sexuality.
“Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson," Cohen explained. "He said, 'There's no way I can let this black fag win.'"
This testimony from "Apprentice" staff is really no surprise, considering one of President Trump's most memorable quotes has become "grab 'em by the pussy," a statement he uttered while talking to Billy Bush on a bus while shooting an "Access Hollywood" segment.
Keefe noted in the New Yorker piece that "many" people he spoke to that worked on the show recalled Trump speaking "coarsely about women."
One unidentified employee said, "He'd say, 'How about those boobs? Wouldn't you like to f--k her?'"
Incoherent Rambling on Set
That signature presidential rambling during rallies and unscripted public statements was very much on display during the production of "The Apprentice," according to producer Katherine Walker. The woman who worked on the show in 2004 said the team struggled to make Trump seem coherent.
"We cleaned it up so that he was his best self," she said, and added, "I'm sure Donald thinks that he was never edited."