Staffers and producers on the long-running NBC TV reality show The Apprentice were shocked when viewers took the show's star, Donald Trump, seriously as a successful businessman — so seriously that after 14 seasons on the show, Trump launched a campaign for president of the United States and won. In fact, according to a new exposé published in the January 7 issue of New Yorker magazine, Trump — who had already filed for multiple bankruptcies before the show made him a media star — was so disorganized that he was often unprepared to appear on his own show.
"At the end of each episode, Trump determined which competitor should be 'fired.' Trump was frequently unprepared for these sessions, with little grasp of who had performed well," New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe reported. "Sometimes a candidate distinguished herself during the contest only to get fired, on a whim, by Trump."
"Most of us knew he was a fake. He had just gone through I don't know how many bankruptcies," Jonathan Braun, who worked as an editor on The Apprentice for six seasons, told Keefe. "It was like making the court jester the king."
Braun said that it was his job to cover for Trump's slipshod approach to the show.
"The editors were often obliged to 'reverse engineer' the episode, scouring hundreds of hours of footage to emphasize the few moments when the exemplary candidate might have slipped up, in an attempt to assemble an artificial version of history in which Trump's shoot-from-the-hip decision made sense," Keefe reported.
While former Apprentice staffers have generally been reluctant to speak about their experiences working with Trump on the show, that tendency has apparently begun to reverse. As Inquisitr reported, a former staff member on the show, Nick Casler, recently alleged that Trump would consume the amphetamine drug Adderall by snorting it up his nose during tapings of the show.
Katherine Walker, a producer on The Apprentice, told Keefe that Trump spoke in such an ungrammatical and incoherent way, his speeches were frequently re-edited to make him appear as if he was making sense.
"He wouldn't read a script — he stumbled over the words and got the enunciation all wrong," Keefe wrote. "Walker told me that producers often struggled to make Trump seem coherent, editing out garbled syntax and malapropisms."
Keefe also reported that in 2004, Trump boasted about doing business with "mobsters," and that the frequent presence of "mobsters" in his office was one reason why, he claimed, he was initially reluctant to star in the reality show.
Trump's businesses had filed for six bankruptcies about a decade before The Apprentice got underway, the Washington Post reported.