Iowa Actor Tom Arnold Tells Trump Playboy Mansion Story on Twitter

Arnold, who's previously claimed to have a copy of a rumored tape of Trump saying the N-word, said an incident during their trip to the notorious mansion "might be the root of his immigrant hate"

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@TomArnold/Twitter

Tom Arnold has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump on Twitter, where on Saturday the Ottumwa-born actor and comedian told a story of a trip he claimed to have taken to the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles with Trump that highlighted his animus toward immigrants.

In a series of six tweets, Arnold said Trump mistakenly entered the mansion through a service door instead of the main entrance, stepped on the slippery floor, and saw his loafer fly off into the grotto hot tub, from which a “nice non-rapist Mexican retrieved” it. “This might be the root of his immigrant hate because me and all the kitchen staff were dying,” he tweeted, adding that “since no VIP’s or Trump Playmate girlfriends witnessed this very human moment we figured all would be well” until Trump spotted Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and demanded he fire the immigrant workers.

Arnold claimed he later approached Hefner to vouch for the workers, to which Hefner replied by saying, “Tom, Trump is so dump [sic] he’s been having me fire those same guys for 30 years.” (Hefner, according to Arnold, told Trump he’d fire them but never did.)

Later, Arnold tweeted a photo of himself sitting at a table with Trump at an unspecified location and promised more stories about the president.

Arnold’s stories about Trump, while consistent with his character, are unverified — something the actor’s made into a bit of a habit.

Last September, after Hefner’s death, Arnold told the Hollywood tabloid website TMZ about his trip to the Playboy Mansion with Trump, where “I was not the pervy guy.”

And, potentially far more significantly, before the 2016 election, Arnold claimed to have seen a copy of a widely rumored outtakes tape from the set of The Apprentice, the reality TV show Trump starred on before running for president, that allegedly includes footage of Trump saying the N-word. The show’s main producer, Mark Burnett, has reportedly closely guarded the tape from being released; one television executive claimed that anyone who leaked the tape would be hit with a $5 million penalty for violating a confidentiality agreement. The month after Trump won, Arnold said he had a copy of footage with Trump “saying every dirty, every offensive, racist thing ever,” but hadn’t released it because he didn’t think Trump would win and the people who’d sent it to him feared for their careers. He hasn’t provided any evidence that he indeed has a copy of the tape.

In January, Arnold added to Trump tape rumors, telling the Chicago Tribune that in 2016 he spoke with Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel — the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — about alleged “embarrassing, unseen footage of Trump at the Miss Universe pageant” that Emanuel told him he wouldn’t release because “we lost so much money with Bill Cosby and Trump is still a client.” Through a spokesperson, Emanuel denied ever having the conversation with Arnold, said “there is no embarrassing unseen footage — we looked,” and added that Trump hadn’t been a client of his for the past two years.

Arnold grew up in Ottumwa and later attended both Indian Hills Community College and the University of Iowa before pursuing a career in comedy and acting. His younger sister, Lori Kaye Arnold, was featured prominently in the book Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, about the decline of the nearby town of Oelwein.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.