Radio host Howard Stern, who often hosted President Trump 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.”
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.”
In his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, Stern, who last spoke to Trump when he turned down the request to speak at the Republican National Convention in 2016, talks about how psychotherapy has impacted his life for the better.
“There’s no way, I do not believe [Trump]’s ever done psychotherapy. He’s demonstrating a lot of the behaviors that I recognize,” Stern told Cooper.
“From what I know of Donald and his relationship with his father, it sounds traumatic,” said Stern. “It sounds like the father was very domineering, the father expected a lot from him and military school. Donald, his level of narcissism is so strong and he has troubles with empathy, we know that. I wish he’d go into psychotherapy. I’d be so proud of him if he did. He would probably flourish.”
When asked by Cooper if he believes Trump has changed since becoming president, Stern said, “I think he’s the same exact person. I think the only way you change is to do analysis. So yeah, I think he’s the same guy.”
In addition, Stern shared that re-election may be difficult for Trump if he were to win the 2020 race.
“I think psychologically if he really got under the hood, I think he’d say, ‘What am I doing? I’m in my 70s,’ ” he said.