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VICELAND

Everything You Need to Know About the Miss Universe Trump Tape

"Before a show, I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed."

by VICE Staff
Oct 8 2018, 10:35pm

One thing that's happening is that Tom Arnold is going around looking for "Trump tapes," a.k.a. incriminating recordings of the president, and VICELAND has a whole show about his efforts. This week's episode is all about footage of Donald Trump's stint running the Miss Universe pageant, so let's do that thing where we pretend we are answering questions posed by an imaginary audience.

Q: WHAT’S THE MISS UNIVERSE TAPE?

A: Trump owned the Miss Universe pageant for nearly 20 years, from 1996 to 2015. And he was a hands-on owner. A recording first obtained by TMZ in 2009 demonstrated how he would personally select the contestants he found attractive and make sure they advanced. Additionally, he once told Howard Stern, "Before a show, I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it... And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that."

Those stories have fueled speculation about what Trump might have been caught on video or audio doing while hanging around lecherously backstage.

Q: WHAT COULD BE ON THESE TAPES?

A: Who knows? Finding out what's on them is, like, the whole premise of the Tom Arnold thing.

Q: WHO OWNS THE TAPES?

A: In 2015, Trump sold the Miss Universe Organization to William Morris Endeavor, or WME, a talent agency run by power agent Ari Emanuel, the model for Entourage’s Ari Gold, brother to Chicago mayor Rahm and doctor/progressive Ezekiel—and also a close friend of Trump’s.

It’s a bit surprising Ari Emanuel has repeatedly declined appeals from powerful Democrats to release the tapes. He is, after all, a huge Democratic donor and also has two brothers who have spent years working in liberal politics. But he was silent throughout the 2016 election—giving no support to Hillary Clinton and standing out among his liberal peers in Hollywood for failing to condemn Trump’s candidacy. Even businessman and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban couldn't talk him into putting the tapes into the public.

Q: SO WHY WON'T HE RELEASE THE TAPES?

A: Who knows! Meanwhile, when VICELAND reached out to the Miss Universe pageant it was told that the pageant has shared archival footage with the media. To learn more about Tom Arnold's investigation tune into The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold this Tuesday on VICELAND.