Although Donald Trump uttered the infamous Apprentice catchphrase “You’re fired,” the president-to-be didn’t actually decide who was let go on the NBC show, at least according to onetime Celebrity Apprentice contestant and American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken.
In an interview with Domecast, a podcast from North Carolina’s News & Observer newspaper, Aiken dished on what went on behind the scenes. His takeaway? Donald Trump was only a puppet, and the producers called the shots.
“Trump didn’t decide who got fired on Apprentice, I mean, NBC made those decisions,” Aiken said, adding that the president wasn’t the businessman he was perceived to be on TV.
More from the Washington Post:
“He didn’t make those decisions, he didn’t fire those people,” said Clay Aiken, 38, who competed on the show in 2012 and was also a contestant on “American Idol.”
The show’s producers from NBC made those calls, giving Trump instructions through a teleprompter on his desk that looked like a phone, Aiken said.
It isn’t the first time the veracity of “The Apprentice” has been questioned. As The Post has reported, Trump frequently offered to give away thousands of his own dollars, often to console a fired or upset celebrity.
The Post examined all of the “personal” gifts that Trump promised during 83 episodes and seven seasons, and could not confirm a single case in which Trump actually sent a gift out of his own pocket.