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Clay Aiken: Donald Trump ‘Didn’t Decide Who Got Fired’ on ‘The Apprentice’

Donald Trump and Clay Aiken attend the "Celebrity Apprentice" Live Finale at American Museum of Natural History on May 20, 2012 in New York City.
Donald Trump and Clay Aiken attend the "Celebrity Apprentice" Live Finale at American Museum of Natural History on May 20, 2012 in New York City. Jim Spellman/WireImage

He was faking it? Clay Aiken claims that President Donald Trump wasn’t really calling the shots during his time as host of The Apprentice.

The 38-year-old singer, who competed on the NBC reality show in 2012, said Trump, now 71, was taking direction from the network. “Trump didn’t decide who got fired on Apprentice. I mean, NBC made those decisions,” he told News & Observer’s weekly podcast Domecast

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He claimed that the business mogul was actually reading lines from a teleprompter when speaking with contestants. “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,” alleged Aiken. “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.’”

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The American Idol runner-up, who ran for Congress in North Carolina as a Democrat, said it was an illusion that Trump was in control. “It was very much, ‘I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV,’” he continued.

Although he says Trump is a “nice guy,” Aiken thinks the POTUS is “probably leading the country in the same way that he did The Apprentice“: “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.’ I feel like half the time his teleprompter has broken down as president and he doesn’t know what’s going on.”

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Aiken added, “He didn’t make those decisions, he didn’t fire those people.”

The “Invisible” singer claimed that people shouldn’t believe everything they see on TV. “I’m not saying this to be incendiary, but Donald Trump isn’t the businessman that people believe he is because we saw him on TV playing the Apprentice,” he said. “And he did look like he was leading, but on The Apprentice he doesn’t lead.”

Us Weekly has reached out to NBC for comment. 

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