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Donald Trump didn’t want a ‘black fag’ winning The Apprentice, says Michael Cohen

Sofia Lotto Persio November 3, 2018
Photos of former The Apprentice season 1 runner-up Kwame Jackson and President Donald Trump

Composite image of Kwame Jackson (L) and President Donald Trump. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty; Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty)

President Donald Trump has used a homophobic slur against a participant in his show The Apprentice, according to his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

In an extraordinary interview to Vanity Fair, Cohen recalled several episodes in which Trump used racist language in referring to black people—including Kwame Jackson, who was a finalist in The Apprentice season 1, aired in 2004.

Jackson, a Harvard Business School graduate and an investment manager, lost the final to cigar business owner Bill Rancic. Cohen said Trump once explained why he did not pick Jackson.

“He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black fag win,’” Cohen told Vanity Fair, quoting Trump’s words. Vanity Fair said the White House did not respond to request for comment on their story, while Jackson confirmed he was aware of the president’s remarks.

Jackson was one of the African-American participants in The Apprentice who had strongly opposed Trump during his presidential bid. In April 2016, Jackson held a press conference in New York along with former season 3 contestant Tara Dowdell and season 4 winner Dr. Randel Pinkett to denounce Trump as unfit to lead the country.

Former Apprentices Speak Out: Donald Trump, You're Fired! Press Conference
Former Apprentice participants Tara Dowdell (L) and Dr. Randel Pinkett (R) look on as former apprentice participant Kwame Jackson speaks on April 15, 2016 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty)

In his speech, Jackson said Trump lacked the “temperament” to be president and criticised him for appealing “to the lowest common denominator of fear, racism and divisiveness in our populace” and creating “a toxic ecosystem in our political discourse.”

“Let us choose Kennedy over Kardashian-ism each and every time as a leading nation,” he was quoted as saying in a MSNBC report on the event. ”Muhammad Ali over McCarthyism—that is why I defiantly stand up.”

Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, arranged the $130,000 hush money payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels a month before the 2016 presidential election. In August, he pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges related to campaign-finance violations and tax fraud, for which he is facing sentencing in December.

Kwame Jackson from 'The Apprentice 1'
Kwame Jackson from ‘The Apprentice 1’ and guest attend the after party for the final episode of ‘The Apprentice’ on December 16, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty)

He has become increasingly critical of the Trump administration. Cohen has been encouraging people to vote in the Midterm Elections to avoid more years of “craziness” and, this week, he endorsed African-American Democratic party candidate Andrew Gillum in Florida’s gubernatorial race—where he is leading his Republican rival Ron DeSantis by 2,7 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Trump has called Gillum a “thief” in a tweet on October 29, to which the candidate replied: “If I’m stealing anything, it’s hearts and minds. We’re going to win that race, frankly, because of that reason” while speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

More: Donald Trump, Homophobia, Kwame Jackson, Michael Cohen, racism, The Apprentice, US

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