Howard Stern says Donald Trump never wanted to be president at all and only ran for the office as a “gimmick” in an effort to muscle NBC executives into giving him a pay raise on “The Apprentice.”
“I firmly believed that Donald did not want to run for president. I don’t think he was serious. I don’t think he wanted to be the president. I knew him. He had a great life at Mar-A-Lago, he was running around town, he played golf, he had a great time,” Stern said during an appearance with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” Tuesday night.
“He’s on ‘The Apprentice,’ the ratings were going down and NBC was balking at giving him a raise, so what did he say, I’ll run for president, I’ll get a lot of press and I really believe this was a gimmick to get NBC to raise up his salary and to keep “The Apprentice” on, and I would bet the farm on that.”
Stern also revealed that Trump called him several times throughout the campaign for off-the-record chats and even invited him to speak at the Republican National Convention. Stern — a Hillary Clinton voter — said he politely declined.
The radio shock jock was on the “Late Show” to promote his first book in 20 years “Howard Stern Comes Again,” which rocketed to the top of Amazon until this week when it was dethroned by Fox News host Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press.”
Before his presidential run, Trump was a regular guest on Stern’s radio show, where he frequently offered brash, off-the-cuff commentary about women and politics. Many of his appearances were later unearthed by opposition research teams and journalists during the 2016 campaign, something Stern says was unfair.
“I was quite surprised, when they dragged out every single Donald Trump interview I had done. And in some ways, I felt it was unfair to Trump,” Stern told “Good Morning America‘s” George Stephanopoulos earlier this month.