Former co-producer for the hit show The Apprentice, Bill Pruitt, revealed that Donald Trump arranged a meeting for the judges and producers of the show to pick the show’s winner during the first season. Pruitt claimed that when discussing the possibility of a Black candidate winning the top entrepreneur title, Trump’s response was “But will America buy a n***er winning?”
The two remaining candidates at the time were Kwame Jackson and Bill Rancic. Jackson is an Black investment manager and also a graduate of Harvard Business School. At the time, Rancic was a Chicago based cigar business entrepreneur of Croatian-American descent. Rancic was eventually crowned the season’s winner.
Newsweek detailed that the anecdote is included in the soon to be released book The Method to the Madness: Donald Trump’s Ascent as Told by Those Who Were Hired, Fired, Inspired—and Inaugurated. The book is penned by Allen Salkin and Aaron Short and set to release on July 9.
Carolyn Kepcher, a judge and the chief operating officer of Trump golf clubs, has a different recollection of the incident. While she advocated for Jackson to win, she stated that she does not recall President Trump using the racial slur and offered, “I would remember, and I’d be disgusted.”
Jackson seems to be pleased with not being crowned the victor due to Trump’s eventual attacks on President Barack Obama and his support of the birther movement. Jackson also adds the possibility of Trump picking him stating “I picked the Black guy as my first winner” as a negative to potentially winning in 2004.
There are other incidents that question Trump’s penchant for using of the n-word. Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who spent time with Trump on both The Apprentice and as a member of his administration stated she has tapes to prove Trump has said the n-word multiple times. Manigualt-Newman stated she was first alerted to the use of racial epithets by Trump from a source who had contact with consultant Frank Luntz, but Luntz denies the claim.
While appearing on The View in September of 2018, Manigualt-Newman stated she does not possess the tape, but it would be released prior to midterm elections and yet, it never was.