Radio host Howard Stern, who often hosted President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE on his show before the reality star and real estate mogul entered politics, claims Trump’s 2016 campaign was a “publicity stunt” to get NBC to give him a raise for “The Apprentice.”

“This is a publicity stunt,” Stern said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I have no doubt because I have some inside information.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Stern said it all started with the 1987 book “The Art of the Deal,” ghostwritten by Tony Schwartz but credited to Trump. Stern said that a public relations professional suggested Trump start a "rumor" that he was planning to launch a White House bid.

“So, all of a sudden, he was being interviewed — the book goes right to No. 1,” Stern said.

Stern said that when Trump’s second book came out, “that’s when he started the rumor that he was running for president.”

“‘The Apprentice’ ratings were not what they were, NBC was not going to give him a raise," Stern said.

“And what’s a better way to get NBC’s interest? I’ll run for president and I’ll get lots of press. And I think that’s what happened.”

Stern added that he doesn’t think Trump likes being president “at all.”

“I think he liked winning the presidency,” he told Cooper. “He likes to win.”