Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

With the inauguration now only three weeks away, Tom Arnold’s tossing up a Hail Mary. Earlier this month, Arnold said he’d seen some kind of outtake reel that showed President-elect Donald Trump spitting out various racial and misogynist slurs. These videos also reportedly feature the once-and-future Celebrity Apprentice executive producer saying shitty things about his own children. “I have the outtakes to The Apprentice where he says every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. I have that,“ Arnold told Seattle radio host Dori Monson. He also claimed to actually be in possession of these new “tapes,” which sound like they could have come from a Trump family dinner but are actually outtakes from his Apprentice filming days.

Naturally, the actor-comedian was asked why he hadn’t released the alleged tapes at any point pre-Trump victory, you know, when they might have made a difference. Arnold said the recordings were previously passed around by people who never thought Trump would get elected. Also, they feared the consequences of shining such an unflattering light on such a litigious and vindictive person. To wit, Arnold said he’d received a message from a Yahoo! News reporter asking if he was worried about being sued. This prompted him to seek legal counsel, during which time he claims he caught wind of the possibility from Trump’s camp (this, despite Arnold claiming he and Trump had previously been “friendly”). Arnold also claimed that he’d been asked by Michael Kives, a CAA agent and Hillary Clinton supporter, to “release [Trump] saying the n-word” the weekend before the November 8 election.

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After hearing Arnold’s allegations, The Daily Beast diligently tried to confirm the validity of these tapes, only to learn that they’re not physical media, but rather password-protected videos. The publication also spoke to Apprentice staffers, who categorically denied the existence of such footage. The issue was far from settled, though—as has become the case in such matters, another celebrity entered the fray. This time, it was actor Michael Rapaport who wanted Arnold to back up his claims.

And because Rapaport had “[ridden] Trump’s butt” over his birther nonsense, Arnold laid out the provenance of these supposed tapes, as well as explained his concerns over confronting the newly elected leader of the free (for now) world. After all, Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women ended up being a mere bump in the road for the then-candidate, and only cost Billy Bush his job. The True Lies actor even says he and his family have already been threatened by the “alt-right.”

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The Hollywood Reporter compiled Arnold’s tweets in response to Rapaport’s request. In them, Arnold touches on Russian influence on the 2016 election, while claiming that “Watergate-level journalists are on top of this.”

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That 14th tweet was a little confusing, as it seemed to imply that a modern-day Woodward and Bernstein were sussing out the provenance of the tapes. But Arnold has just piped up again to clarify that the ace journalists he referred to are actually looking into Trump’s Russian ties.

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