Aiken Trump Apprentice
Aiken Trump Apprentice

Clay Aiken Says Donald Trump Wasn’t Really the Boss at ‘The Apprentice’

Clay Aiken, the openly gay singer and politician who was the runner-up of American Idol Season 2 and a finalist of The Celebrity Apprentice Season 5, has spilled some hot tea about current U.S. President Donald Trump (we say “current” because who knows how long that will last).

According to Aiken, Trump never actually decided who got fired on The Apprentice, which is somewhat surprising considering that Trump partly built his fame on hosting 14 seasons of the show and constantly uttering his contestant-eliminating catchphrase, “You’re fired!”

If you never watched the show (join the club), it involved two teams of contestants completing various business tasks like raising money, creating ad campaigns or selling products. Near the end of each episode, the losing team would attend a boardroom meeting with Trump to evaluate (and eliminate) the least productive team member.

Despite the show helping solidify Trump’s decisive, hard-nosed businessman persona, Aiken claims that Trump knew little about the contestants’ actions and would rely on producers to fill him in during tapings.

Aiken told the Domecast (a podcast produced by the North Carolina newspaper News & Observer):

“There used to be a little thing right on his desk that looked like a phone — he pretended it was a phone — but it was actually a teleprompter where the producers were sending him notes. He didn’t know that people were getting in fights during the week while we were doing these tasks, the producers did. And they’d send him notes and he’d say, ‘Oh you two didn’t get along.’” 

Aiken continued, “Trump didn’t decide who got fired on Apprentice, I mean, NBC made those decisions.”

It really shouldn’t surprise anyone considering how little Trump seems to know about what’s happening in the White House or the rest of the world, and Aiken agrees. He said:

“The man as president definitely has a teleprompter sitting on his desk right now, with people telling him, ‘such and such is in the health care bill. I feel like half the time, his teleprompter has broken down as president and he doesn’t know what’s going on.”

“He probably is leading the country in the same way that he did Apprentice. Donald Trump isn’t the businessman that people believe he is because we saw him on TV, playing in The Apprentice. And he did look like he was leading, but on The Apprentice he doesn’t lead.”

Despite this, Aiken spoke warmly of Trump, adding that he often called him for advice and support during Aiken’s failed 2014 campaign for North Carolina’s congress.