Tom Arnold cracks up waitress at Mickey's Diner during filming of "The Tom Show" in 1997. Photo by Joey McLeister
Tom Arnold hasn't starred in a major film or TV show in years, but he's still capable of making a splash.
The comedian, who got his first big break during the five years he spent in Minneapolis, is in the midst of a Twitter attack on president-elect Donald Trump based on unreleased outtakes from "The Apprentice" he claims to have seen last month.
On Christmas, Arnold tweeted that "Watergate level journalists are on top" of the story and that all will be revealed soon.
Arnold's allegations first came to light during a Dec. 16 interview on Seattle's KIRO radio. According to the Los Angeles Times, He told host Dori Monson then that he had outtakes from "The Apprentice" in which Trump says "every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. It was him sitting in that chair saying the N-word, saying the C-word, calling his son a retard, just being so mean to his own children."
Arnold claims he got the tape from "Apprentice" staff members who circulated the video in early November as a funny Christmas gift, not expecting that Trump would actually win.
Arnold didn't provide many details until fellow actor Michael Rapaport challenged him on social media to cough up the tape. Arnold said the material had a time-limited password, but he did go more in-depth after Rapaport's tweet in a flurry of postings in which he stated that he had talked to several other Hollywood players who had also seen the tape.
"Will give you the names of the 7 big shots and you can risk your livelihood and confront them too," he tweeted in response to Rapaport's challenge.
The media has made numerous requests to see outtakes in the wake of audio tape that revealed Trump making crude comments about groping women before an interview on "Access Hollywood," which, like "The Apprentice," is distributed by NBCUniversal. Interviewer Billy Bush was fired after the conversation was leaked. Trump apologized and described the comments as locker-room talk.
NBC has said it doesn't own "The Apprentice" outtakes. Mark Burnett, who created the show as well as "Survivor," has said he is powerless to help, saying in a statement that MGM, which acquired his company, is restricted in releasing such material, due to various contractual and legal requirements.
Arnold grew up in Iowa, but he spent significant time in the Twin Cities, working at William's Pub, hanging out at CC Club and honing his stand-up act. His 1997 short-lived sitcom, "The Tom Show," was set in St. Paul. He's best known for his volatile marriage to Roseanne Barr and his juicy supporting role in "True Lies." That movie's star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will take over as host of "The Celebrity Apprentice" next month. Trump remains an executive producer.
Several attempts to reach Arnold were unsuccessful.