Donald Trump made the words “You’re fired” a part of American pop culture during his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice.” But it turns out he may have had much less of a role in deciding who got the boot than it seemed, at least according to Clay Aiken.
During a recent appearance on “Domecast,” a podcast by North Carolina’s News & Observer, Aiken revealed that Trump had very little say in decisions when Aiken was on the “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012.
“Trump didn’t decide who got fired on ‘Apprentice,’” he said. “NBC made those decisions.”
At another point, Aiken said, “He [Trump] didn’t make those decisions, he didn’t fire those people. It was very much, ‘I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.’”
According to Aiken, the show even set up little ways to help Trump along through filming.
“There used to be a little thing right on his desk that looked like a phone,” Aiken said. “He pretended it was a phone, but it was actually a teleprompter where the producers were sending him notes.”
Aiken may be a Democrat who once ran for Congress in North Carolina, but he tried to clarify that he wasn’t trying “to be incendiary” with his comments. He simply wanted people to know that “Trump isn’t the businessman that people believe he is.”
“He did look like he was leading. But on ‘The Apprentice’ he doesn’t lead,” Aiken said. “He’s told by the producers, ‘Here’s what happened. Here’s who should win.’”
Now that Trump has risen from a TV personality to president of the United States, Aiken can’t help but imagine Trump is “leading the country in the same way that he did ‘The Apprentice.’”
He said, “I think to myself, the man as president definitely has a teleprompter sitting on his desk right now with people telling him, ‘Well such and such is in the healthcare bill, don’t say this.’”
But, he added, “I feel like half the time his teleprompter has broken down as president and he doesn’t know what’s going on.”
Aiken finished second during his 2012 run on “Celebrity Apprentice.”