Reality show creator Mark Burnett said Monday that he cannot release any unaired recordings of Donald Trump from the Republican presidential candidate’s long-running show The Apprentice as attention rises on what other private tapes of the businessman might reveal.
A former producer of the NBC reality show said in a message on Twitter Saturday that “Trump tapes” from filming The Apprentice contain “far worse” material than the newly published 2005 video in which Trump boasts about groping women. On Monday, the Huffington Post published what the site described as transcribed outtakes of one show where Trump reportedly critiqued the appearance of a country singer. In a statement released to the site, the Trump campaign declined to comment on the transcript.
Here’s what we know so far the possible recordings:
What do we think is on these tapes?
More than 20 former crew members, editors and contestants from the show have told the Associated Press that Trump was repeatedly demeaning and vulgar to women. Bill Pruitt, who said he helped produce the first two seasons of The Apprentice, stoked speculation about the show’s archive when he tweeted on Oct. 8: “I assure you: When it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justhebeginning.”
Who owns the tapes?
The Apprentice is owned by Mark Burnett Productions. MGM acquired a majority share in the company in 2014, according to the New York Times. Burnett was named president of MGM Television in December 2015, Variety reported.
“Despite reports to the contrary, Mark Burnett does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from The Apprentice,” MGM and Burnett said in a statement to TIME. “Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material. The recent claims that Mark Burnett has threatened anyone with litigation if they were to leak such material are completely and unequivocally false. To be clear, as previously reported in the press, which Mark Burnett has confirmed, he has consistently supported Democratic campaigns.”
NBC did not immediately comment Monday. NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks has previously told the AP that the network had licensed The Apprentice footage from Burnett, adding that she did not know if NBC still had footage from the show in its possession. Even if the tapes were still in NBC’s storage, Marks said: “We don’t have the legal right to give out the footage from that show.”
What lengths have people said they’ll go to obtain them?
At least one key Hillary Clinton supporter has volunteered to pay $5 million to any Apprentice employee willing to leak the tapes. David Brock, who runs a network of Democratic groups helping Clinton’s campaign, wrote on Twitter that he would foot the bill. “If a $5 million ‘leak fee’ is what stands between truth and total #Trump implosion, sign me up,” he tweeted. Brock later confirmed to Politico that he was serious about his offer.
A GoFundMe page called “Trump Sunlight Campaign” has collected more than $9,000 in less than a day with a goal of raising money to support a leaker. “Someone out there is likely in possession of a piece of evidence that could be used to substantiate what many folks have always believed; that the current nominee for President of the United States is not a moral leader for us all to look to over the next four years,” the page says. “This country needs that person to come forward and ensure that we all know the truth that is out there.”
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