Clay Aiken: 'Trump didn’t decide who got fired on "Apprentice"'
© Getty Images

Clay Aiken, a former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant, contends President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE, famous for his “You’re fired!” catchphrase, wasn’t the one making the big decisions on the series.

“Trump didn’t decide who got fired on ‘Apprentice,’ I mean, NBC made those decisions,” Aiken, who competed on the then-Trump-hosted “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012, recently told Domecast, a podcast from North Carolina’s News & Observer newspaper.

“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,” said Aiken, who launched a failed House bid in North Carolina as a Democrat in 2014. “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.’”

ADVERTISEMENT

Aiken says, “It was very much, ‘I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.’”

Saying he thinks Trump is actually a “nice guy,” Aiken maintained he's “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,” the singer and former “American Idol” runner-up said.

“He didn't make those decisions, he didn't fire those people,” Aiken, 38, added.

NBC didn’t immediately return ITK’s request for comment.

“I’m not saying this to be incendiary,” Aiken continued, “but Donald Trump isn't the businessman that people believe he is because we saw him on TV playing the ‘Apprentice.’ And he did look like he was leading.

“But on ‘The Apprentice’ he doesn’t lead.”

But Aiken was also critical of the Democratic Party, saying, "I think the Democrats, to some degree, hurt themselves more by constantly saying how horrible Trump is and how horrible the Republicans are because, it just, I think it helps it his argument that people are biased against him when all they hear is he's a fascist, all these horrible things about him.

"I kind of feel like we'd be better served to let people see what he's going to do or not do."

During last year's campaign, Aiken told CNN that his mother, who lives in North Carolina, would be voting for Trump even though "he fired me" on the show. 

“A lot of people who are supporting Trump are supporting him because he’s not a typical — he’s not a typical politician,” he said last March.