Things are getting worse for the president as two creators of The Apprentice talked about creating the “character” of Donald Trump as a billionaire business tycoon in a recently released Netflix documentary The Confidence Man.
“What we did, that was a scam,” says producer Bill Pruitt. “That was an entertainment.”
Pruitt describes Trump’s real office within New York’s Trump Tower as dated, so the show built the boardroom where Trump uttered the now famous line “You’re Fired!” The famous boardroom was a set based on the classy, high-powered office portrayed in the movie Network.
“If you walked around Trump’s actual office in Trump Tower you’d see the wood’s chipped, and what’s that smell?” says Pruitt in the film. “It wasn’t the empire we were going to have to sell to people. We needed to gussy it up a bit. And we did.”
The Confidence Man, directed by Fisher Stevens (Bright Lights), is the final episode of the Alex Gibney-created docuseries Dirty Money. It contends that Trump the tycoon is really a myth created by the infamous self-promoter, his visibility spread wide with continued mentions in articles, TV commercials and network interviews.
But Trump declined to partake in this project. In a statement from the series’ producers, “the producers reached out to The White House last summer, as recommended by the SVP of the Trump Organization, inviting President Trump to participate and allow him to tell his own story for the episode. The White House never responded to their request.”
The New York gossip columnist AJ Benza recalls that Trump gave him dirt on the Manhattan nightlife scene in exchange for labeling him a billionaire.
“He wanted to be paid back in a particular way, regardless of what you mentioned,” says Benza in the film. “He never really cared as long as you said the word ‘billionaire.’ “