‘Apprentice’ staffers doubt that Trump N-word tape exists: ‘It would have leaked long ago’

Did President Trump secretly utter the N-word while starring on “The Apprentice” as many have whispered over the years?

The answer, according to a new piece from The New Yorker is probably “no.” In a deep dive into the relationship between Trump and “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett published Thursday, New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe spoke with several former show insiders who said if such an explosive recording existed it would have leaked by now.

“If somebody had the goods, it would have leaked long ago. There were no Trump fans on the set. I don’t know a single person who worked on the show who voted for Trump,” an anonymous show employee told Keefe.

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Donald Trump with 'The Apprentice' creator Mark Burnett
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Donald Trump with 'The Apprentice' creator Mark Burnett
Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during NBC 2003-2004 Upfront at The Metropolitan Opera House lincoln Center in New York City, New York USA. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
New York real estate mogul Donald Trump (L) and TV producer Mark Burnett talk to reporters, April 8, 2003 in New York City. Burnett is producing a new reality TV show for NBC called, 'The Apprentice,' where the winner will win a six-figure apprenticeship within the Trump Organization. (Photo by Jeff Christensen/WireImage)
Donald Trump, Clive Davis and Mark Burnett during Wyclef Jean Listening Party for His New Album 'The Preachers Son' at Hudson Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 10: Executive Producers of 'The Apprentice' Donald Trump (L) and Mark Burnett speak with the press at the 2004 TCA Summer Press Tour at the Century Plaza Hotel on June 10, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 10: (L to R) Executive Producers Donald Trump, Mark Burnett, Vice Presidents of the Trump Organization George H. Ross and Carolyn Kepcher of 'The Apprentice' speak with the press at the 2004 TCA Summer Press Tour at the Century Plaza Hotel on June 10, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 19: Producers Mark Burnett and Donald Trump attend the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 19, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Roma Downey, Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and Melania Knauss with guests (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Donald Trump, Billy Bush and Mark Burnett (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) Creator/Executive Producer Mark Burnett, Mr. Trump's fiancee Melania Knauss, and businessman Donald Trump attend the Museum of Television and Radio presents 'The Apprentice' at the Museum of Television and Radio on September 20, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Group portrait of, from left, American boxing promoter Don King, businessman Donald Trump, and television producer Mark Burnett as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 2005. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during 'The Apprentice' Finale- Arrivals at California Mart in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during Donald Trump Recruiting Search for the Next 'Apprentice' at Universal Studios Hollywood at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Donald Trump and Mark Burnett during Donald Trump Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in front of Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Tran/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Moderator Erin Burnett, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump, producer Mark Burnett and Ivanka Trump attend the Paley Center for Media's presentation of 'The Apprentice' on September 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Steven A Henry/WireImage)
Donald Trump and Mark Burnett (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Mark Burnett and Donald Trump appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
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On the record, Jonathan Braun, a longtime senior editor on the show, also said he thought the idea of an N-word tape was bogus.

“I was the supervising editor on the first six seasons,” he told Keefe. “I didn’t watch every frame, but in everything I saw, I didn’t hear him saying anything so horrible.”

A third staffer pointed out that Trump was never alone on set and was constantly being watched by up to a hundred people, in contrast to his infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump had assumed he was alone.

The piece by Keefe estimated that there could be as much as 60,000 hours of unaired footage and outtakes from Trump’s time on ‘The Apprentice” and it’s unclear how much of it has ever been reviewed.

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Donald Trump with members of 'Celebrity Apprentice'
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Donald Trump with members of 'Celebrity Apprentice'
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Donald Trump (L) and Lil Jon attend 'All Star Celebrity Apprentice' Red Carpet Event at Trump Tower on May 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Donald Trump and Shawn Johnson attend 'Celebrity Apprentice' Red Carpet Event at Trump Tower on January 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Donald Trump (C), his sons Eric F. Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Season 13 contestants attend the 'Celebrity Apprentice All Stars' Season 13 Press Conference at Jack Studios on October 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: (L-R) TV personalities Johnny Damon, Brandi Glanville, Donald Trump and Ian Ziering attend a 'Celebrity Apprentice' red carpet event at Trump Tower on February 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: Donald Trump and Lorenzo Lamas attend 'Celebrity Apprentice' Red Carpet Event at Trump Tower on January 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Businessman/host Donald Trump and castmember singer/tv personality Brett Michaels attend the 'Celebrity Apprentice All Stars' Season 13 Bus Tour at on October 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Donald Trump, John Rich and Melania Trump attend 'The Celebrity Apprentice' Season 4 Finale at Trump SoHo on May 22, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: TV host Leeza Gibbons and businessman/tv personality Donald Trump attend 'The Celebrity Apprentice' season finale at Trump Tower on February 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 16: (L-R top row) Geraldo Rivera, TV personality Kate Gosselin, executive producer Mark Burnett and actress Kenya Moore. (L-R bottom row) Actress Vivica A. Fox, TV personality Brandi Glanville, executive producer/host Donald Trump, actor Lorenzo Lamas, actor Ian Ziering and Tv personality Leeza Gibbons speak onstage during the 'The Celebrity Apprentice' panel discussion at the NBC/Universal portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Castmembers actress Lisa Rinna, businessman/host Donald Trump, and singer/TV personality Brett Michaels attend the 'Celebrity Apprentice All Stars' Season 13 Bus Tour at on October 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: (L) Brande Roderick, Donald Trump Jr.,(C) Donald Trump, Eric Trump, Bret Michaels, Claudia Jordan, Gary Busey, Marilu Henner, Lil Jon, Lisa Rinna, Dee Snider, La Toya Jaskson, Stephen Baldwin, Trace Adkins, Dennis Rodman and Penn Jillette attend the 'Celebrity Apprentice All Stars' Season 13 Press Conference at Jack Studios on October 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: TV personalities Donald Trump and Brandi Glanville attend a 'Celebrity Apprentice' red carpet event at Trump Tower on February 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
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Even if an N-word tape did exist, people close to the show also said it would be impossible to release because it would open up M-G-M Television — which now owns Burnett’s company —  to a lawsuit.

“Mark Burnett cannot release the tapes. Period. Even if Mark Burnett wanted to release the tapes, Mark Burnett cannot release the tapes,” a lawyer for M-G-M told Keefe. “These are binding obligations, which means that if M-G-M were to violate them — by releasing footage not just of Trump but of anyone who appeared with him onscreen — the studio could be sued.”

Still rumors of an N-word tape continue to persist and were most recently stoked by former White House aide and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault, who bluntly declared in her White House tell-all that the N-word tape did exist and that Trump said the word “multiple times” on set. Omarosa has said, however, that she never personally heard Trump say the word and cited three unnamed sources for her explosive claim.

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