Originally published by The Hill
Lawyers for an organization that is suing President Trump over his administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program issued subpoenas to acquire tapes from “The Apprentice,” arguing that they could bolster their argument that rescinding the Obama-era initiative was fueled by racial animus.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that lawyers for Civil Rights, which filed its lawsuit earlier this year, subpoenaed MGM Holdings Inc. and Trump Productions LLC. The attorneys are demanding any footage from “The Apprentice” that shows Trump using “racial and/or ethnic slurs” or making other remarks concerning “race, nationality and/or ethnic background.”
“Access to these videotapes will help further demonstrate that Defendant Trump holds racially biased views that impact his policy and decision making,” attorney Oren Nimni said, according to the AP.
DACA, an Obama-era immigration program, allows immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation. Trump’s decision to rescind the program has prompted numerous legal challenges.
Trump has previously been accused of having used racially charged language on the set of his old NBC show.
Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman alleged in her book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” that the president used the N-word on set, and rapper Lil’ Jon claimed that Trump called him “Uncle Tom” while he was a contestant. No evidence has been presented to back these claims.
Trump has denied that he’s used racist language and asserted that tapes of him doing so on set of “The Apprentice” don’t exist.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, “Apprentice” executive producer Mark Burnett faced pressure to release tapes from the set of the show after it was revealed Trump bragged about groping women during a hot-mic recording from NBC’s “Access Hollywood.”
Burnett, who issued a statement in October 2016 condemning Trump’s candidacy, did not confirm at the time whether such footage exists, but said he did not have the rights to release it.
The New York Times reported that Trump’s contract for “The Apprentice” gives him control over his name and likeness. As a result, parent company MGM would have to get Trump’s permission to release the tapes.
The president has regularly used hostile language toward immigrants on the campaign trail and while in office as he seeks to make stricter laws against illegal and legal immigration a cornerstone of his administration.
Trump spent weeks leading up to the midterms demonizing a caravan of Central American migrants making its way toward the U.S., and last week signed a proclamation blocking certain immigrants from claiming asylum.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.