Actor and comedian Tom Arnold is on a mission, perhaps one might even call it a hunt.
Arnold is determined to unearth tapes he claims without evidence exist of President Trump from his days hosting the NBC’s reality series “The Apprentice,” accusing the president of displaying inappropriate behavior, including using the n-word. Arnold has even repeatedly slammed the show’s producer, Mark Burnett, accusing him of being Trump’s “best friend” and playing a role in hiding the rumored footage.
Shortly after midnight Monday, Arnold took to Twitter to again put Burnett on blast. This time, however, he claimed the award-winning producer had turned violent and attacked him at an Emmys party on Sunday night.
“Mark Burnett just went ape . . . & choked me at this huge Emmy party then he ran away with his torn Pink shirt & missing gold chain,” Arnold wrote. “I’m waiting for LAPD.”
The Los Angeles Police Department could not be reached for comment. Arnold’s lawyer, Marty Singer, confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that a fight between the two men did happen, adding that Burnett “attacked” Arnold. The scuffle allegedly unfolded at Sunday’s Evening Before the Emmys party in Los Angeles, according to Variety.
Actress Alyson Hannigan also tweeted that she saw the fight break out but did not say who started it.
“Thought it was a joke until security jumped in!” she wrote.
Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey, disputed Arnold’s account of the skirmish at the party.
Tweeting a photo of what appeared to be her left hand with a dark bruise on the back of it, Downey wrote, “Got this bruise tonight when Tom Arnold tried to ambush my husband Mark and me at a charity event.”
Downey’s tweet prompted a swift response from Arnold.
“You lie your crazy husband attacked me you psycho,” he wrote. “I’m filing a police report & suing you for defamation.”
As the drama unfolded, mentions of Arnold and Burnett flooded social media. Both men were trending on Twitter early Monday morning.
Actor Patton Oswalt tweeted a selfie with Arnold that appeared to be taken after the fight, writing, “He’s okay. We gotta protect this brutal angel.”
The bizarre altercation left many, including model Chrissy Teigen, flummoxed.
“[I]s this a mad libs,” Teigen tweeted, referencing Arnold’s original tweet.
It is unclear what provoked the fight and Burnett has not yet publicly commented. His Wikipedia page, however, has already been updated to include details of the heated exchange.
The confrontation occurred just days before Arnold’s new show documenting his hunt for the rumored “Apprentice” tapes is set to premiere. Aptly titled “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes,” the eight-part Viceland series will air its first episode Tuesday.
“I’m going to dig as deep as I have to expose the ugly truth about the ugly man,” Arnold says in the show’s trailer, which features all the tropes of an investigative series, albeit one that seems somewhat harebrained. For example, a scene shows Arnold climbing into a car in the middle of a parking lot to have a clandestine meeting with someone dressed as the Easter Bunny, who purports to have the elusive tapes.
Finding the Trump tapes has been a years-long quest for Arnold, one of the president’s most outspoken critics.
In December 2016, Arnold told KIRO Radio that he had tapes of Trump saying “every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever.”
The relationship between Arnold and Trump goes back decades, he told Jimmy Kimmel during a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“I have history with this guy,” Arnold said last month on the show.
Arnold told Kimmel with confidence that he had seen the tapes and knew exactly what was on them.
“He says the n-word, he calls Eric [Trump] the r-word,” Arnold said. “Now they call it the n-word tape.”
While Arnold said the validity of the n-word tape had been called into question, he noted that two people have “never called me a liar about the n-word tape.”
“Donald Trump and Mark Burnett,” he said, “because they know it’s true. They absolutely know it’s true.”
Allegations that Trump had used the n-word while on “The Apprentice” and that a recording existed made headlines last month when the president’s former adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in her tell-all book that people in the White House knew of the tape. Trump adamantly denied ever saying the n-word, tweeting that Burnett himself had “called to say there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”
“I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have,” he continued. “She made it up.”
However, on “CBS This Morning” the next day, Manigault Newman released a new recording that appeared to be of a discussion among campaign aides in October 2016 about how to handle a tape in which Trump is said to have used the n-word. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she couldn’t guarantee Trump would not be heard using the word in an audio recording, The Washington Post reported.
On “Kimmel” last month, Arnold lambasted Burnett for “protecting” Trump by not releasing the “Apprentice” tapes.
“If you could see one day of Donald Trump on that set, one full day, you’ll realize, ‘Oh my God, that’s what’s going on at the White House,’” Arnold said. “He’s incompetent. He is racist. He sexually harasses people.”
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