The RNC is paying a former "Apprentice" hand accused of having Trump dirt

From August 2019 through May 2020, the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Convention made a dozen payments totaling more than $66,000 to Labella Worldwide, Inc. for “production consulting services.” The firm is run by Chuck Labella, a former NBC executive and the talent producer who worked on Donald Trump’s famous reality show.

Labella is not just a former Apprentice bigwig. According to actor Tom Arnold, who was a contestant on the show and has since become a vociferous Trump critic, Labella was in possession of Trump’s ostensibly salacious—and, in political and media circles, long-sought—behind-the-scenes Apprentice outtakes. “Chuck LaBella was there and knows all,” Arnold said…

The Republican convention committee’s disbursements to Labella’s firm appear to be the first payments ever made by a federal political committee to either Labella personally or his company. But a Republican National Committee spokesperson described his role for the convention as that of a standard event producer.

“Chuck LaBella is consulting on a variety of efforts for convention, including talent, production, stage design, and media consulting,” said RNC national press secretary Mandi Merritt. “It’s incredibly common for large scale events such as these to receive consulting from those with backgrounds in the entertainment industry and to suggest anything other than that is not only flat on wrong, but offensive and misleading.”