As if Donald Trump didn’t have enough problems with voters of color, audio has surfaced showing that the presumptive Republican nominee once considered a version of his show “The Apprentice” that would have black contestants square off against white ones.
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As first reported by Buzzfeed News, Trump discussed the idea with radio host Howard Stern in 2005.
“On The Apprentice there was a concept, okay, thrown out by some person, nine blacks against nine whites,” said Trump. “And it would be nine blacks against nine whites, all highly educated, very smart, strong, beautiful people. Do you like it?” he asked.
One host, Robin Quivers, quipped that it might start a riot.
Trump rebutted by talking ratings. “It would be the highest-rated show on television,” he said.
When Stern questioned whether it might start a race war, Trump responded by boasting of his sensitivity to racial topics.
“Actually, I don’t think it would,” responded Trump. “I think that it would be handled very beautifully by me. Because, as you know, I’m very diplomatic…I’m a sensitive person. I also think you’d have 35 million people a night watching.”
Trump has come under fire for his characterization of undocumented immigrants as rapists and killers, his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims, and his initial reticence in disavowing the support of former Ku Klux Klan Grand wizard David Duke.
Trump said that the idea was given to him. “Somehow I don’t think NBC is thrilled with the idea, with the concept," he said.
They went on to discuss details.
Stern asked if the African-Americans involved would be "Very dark blacks, or light-skinned blacks."
“Assortment [of blacks],” Trump responded, “against whites."
And he added, all nine whites should be blonde. He did say that the idea had its cons.
“There’s something wrong with it,” he said. “But I don’t know, maybe we should think about it.”
The Trump camp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.