When The Daily Beast sat down with Jimmy Kimmel for a wide-ranging talk this week, the host joked that the timing of his interview with Tom Arnold Wednesday night “turned out OK.”
That’s because, long before Omarosa Manigault-Newman started talking about the alleged tape of Donald Trump using the “N-word,” Arnold had been hyping the very same thing. He even has a new show about it called The Hunt for the Trump Tapes premiering next month on Viceland.
“I don’t think he has the tape, I think he’s heard the tape,” Kimmel told me the day before their interview. “I think if Tom Arnold had that tape we would have heard it within four seconds of him getting it.”
As soon as Arnold took the stage on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday, he immediately started launching into stories about Trump, beginning with the stand-up special he filmed at Trump Castle 30 years ago. “I have a history with him,” he explained, including the times Trump “begged” him to appear as a contestant on his The Celebrity Apprentice. “It is such a crappy show that I wouldn't do it,” he said. “That says a lot, because I do everything.”
Over the years, he kept thinking this “a-hole” would get taken down by something, whether it was his failed “birther” crusade against Barack Obama or the Access Hollywood “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape. It was around that time Arnold started talking about a tape he says he had seen in which Trump uses the “N-word” behind the scenes at The Apprentice.
“They know it's true,” Arnold said of Trump and the reality show’s creator, Mark Burnett. “They absolutely know it's true.” Just this week, Trump tweeted that Burnett called to assure him “there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”
As Arnold insisted that America will see the alleged tape soon, Kimmel said, “You keep saying you will. When? When he’s like, retired?”
Arnold couldn’t answer that question, but he did tell Kimmel, “Here’s the truth about Donald Trump that I’ve known from day one: He is incompetent. He’s not even the smartest Trump on the [Apprentice] set!” If the American people get to see the tape of Trump in question, he added, they too will realize “he’s incompetent, he is racist, he sexually harasses people.”
In his interview with The Daily Beast, Kimmel joked, “You know what’s crazy, that Tom Arnold will somehow play a role in this crazy story, but many crazier things have happened.” It’s a line that Arnold seemed to echo when he told Kimmel on Wednesday night, “The fact that I am involved in such a big way with the president tells you that he should not be president.”