During the second 2016 presidential debate last night, Donald Trump did his best to avoid looking like a man on trial.
He went on the offensive from the start, at one point even threatening his opponent, Hillary Clinton, with jail time in the event that he should be elected to the White House.
Ultimately, however, the specter of the now-infamous footage that showed Trump boasting about sexual assault loomed large over Sunday evening’s proceedings.
Though it will likely do little to deteriorate Trump’s support base, if the real estate mogul loses to Clinton in November, pundits will no doubt point to the release of the release of his 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush as the beginning of the end for his campaign.
Now, there’s a rumor that more damaging footage – which could serve as the proof some Americans are looking for that Trump is unfit for public office – is soon to be released.
Before he entered the political arena, Trump was best known for his real estate wheelings and dealings, and his time as the host of the NBC reality series The Apprentice.
Last week, reports of Trump’s inappropriate behavior on the set of The Apprentice went public after the Associated Press published an interview with more than 20 of the show’s crew members and contestants, some of whom had shocking things to say about the GOP’s presidential candidate.
At the time that the interviews were published, they received little notice from voters or the press, as the sort of misogynistic behavior described by Trump’s former colleagues is sadly the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from the 70-year-old businessman.
Now, however, it looks as though Trump’s time on The Apprentice may still come back to haunt him, as a former producer on the show claims that footage of Trump using the n-word in the presence of a shocked cast and crew may soon be released to the public.
Tweeting at bilionaire and outspoken Trump critic Mark Cuban, Chris Nee revealed that while he hasn’t seen the footage, its existence is something of an open secret in certain circles.
He also revealed that the penalty for anyone who worked on the show releasing the footage would be $5 million.
“@mcuban the price is 5 million to cover the penalty fee. And we all get to hear him use the N word from what I hear,” Nee tweeted.
“I don’t have the tapes. I’ve signed a Burnett contract & know leak fee is 5 mill. Hearing from producers/crew N word is the “much worse.”
Obviously, such footage would deal a crushing blow to Trump’s already-ailing campaign.
Five million is certainly a steep fee, but given the fact that paying it would offer him a chance to shape history, it seems likely that Cuban would be willing to cover the penalty for anyone who is able to leak the tape.
Even Trump would likely be unable to recover from such a PR nightmare so close to Election Day.
This could be the moment that Cuban and millions of other Trump detractors have been waiting for.