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Penn Jillette Says Trump 'Apprentice' Tapes Exist: "I Was in the Room"

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 8/14/2018 Ryan Parker

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Penn Jillette says he knows for a fact that Mark Burnett possesses tapes of President Donald Trump saying disparaging, racist remarks while working on the NBC reality show Celebrity Apprentice

Half of the magician duo Penn and Teller (who appeared on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012) recently told Vulture in an interview posted Tuesday that he is positive recordings exist because "I was in the room" when Trump would say "racially insensitive things that made me uncomfortable."

The infamous tapes that have dogged Trump since his campaign are once again in the news after former White House staffer and reality star Omarosa Manigault Newman said she heard the tapes, which allegedly include Trump using the N-word during production of the NBC series, which he hosted.  a person in a suit and tie © Provided by The Hollywood Reporter

Manigault Newman is on a high-profile media blitz for her tell-all book about working on the Trump campaign and her time in the White House before she was fired. She has released tapes in the last few days of alleged conversations with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump that she claims she secretly recorded. 

Trump on Tuesday, via Twitter, said Burnett assured him the tapes do not exist.

Jillette says otherwise. However, he will not get in to the specifics of what Trump said because now that Trump is president, the "stakes are really high."

"Nothing I can say here hurts my career. But for the world the stakes are higher," he told Vulture. "And what I’m trying to do here is tell you the story emotionally without telling you specifics. I would not feel comfortable talking about what I felt I saw in that room — because when I was on that show I was sleeping four to five hours a night. I was uncomfortable. 'Stress' is the wrong word, but I was not at my best."

Still, he did say that Trump, during Celebrity Apprentice production, "would say racially insensitive things that made me uncomfortable." Jillette added that Trump would also make sexual remarks about women that made him uneasy. 

"He would ask one castmember if he’d rather have sex with this woman or that woman," he said. 

And yet, Jillette would not budge on specifics because "I am an unreliable narrator. What I do, as much as anything, is I’m a storyteller. And storytellers are liars. So I can emotionally tell you things that happened racially, sexually, and that showed stupidity and lack of compassion when I was in the room with Donald Trump and I guarantee you that I will get details wrong."

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