Bill Pruitt was a producer for the first two years of “The Apprentice,” the NBC show that pumped up Donald Trump’s image to make it seem he was a genius businessman and leader. The reality, of course, was just the opposite, but when you’re making a TV show, you tell the story you want to tell, so viewers never saw the true Trump.

When he began working on the show in 2004, Pruitt signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited him from saying anything about it publicly for twenty years. But now the agreement has lapsed, so he’s written a piece for Slate which explains how the whole thing was a con job from start to finish. A few excerpts:

It elevated Donald J. Trump from sleazy New York tabloid hustler to respectable household name. In the show, he appeared to demonstrate impeccable business instincts and unparalleled wealth, even though his businesses had barely survived multiple bankruptcies and faced yet another when he was cast. By carefully misleading viewers about Trump—his wealth, his stature, his character, and his intent—the competition reality show set about an American fraud that would balloon beyond its creators’ wildest imaginations.

At the time, Trump’s “empire” was full of businesses that were not doing nearly as well as he claimed. And just because his name was on something, didn’t mean he had built it or overseen it.

Trump goes about knocking off every one of the contestants in the boardroom until only two remain. The finalists are Kwame Jackson, a Black broker from Goldman Sachs, and Bill Rancic, a white entrepreneur from Chicago who runs his own cigar business. Trump assigns them each a task devoted to one of his crown-jewel properties. Jackson will oversee a Jessica Simpson benefit concert at Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, while Rancic will oversee a celebrity golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Viewers need to believe that whatever Trump touches turns to gold. These properties that bear his name are supposed to glitter and gleam. All thanks to him.

Reality is another matter altogether. The lights in the casino’s sign are out. Hong Kong investors actually own the place—Trump merely lends his name. The carpet stinks, and the surroundings for Simpson’s concert are ramshackle at best. We shoot around all that.

Blue collar people who have supported Trump for the last several years forgot (or never knew) he had a history of not paying contractors after they’d finished jobs for him — including the architect who designed the clubhouse for one of Trump’s golf courses.

We are taken around the rest of the club’s property and told what to feature on camera and what to stay away from. The clubhouse is a particularly necessary inclusion, and it is inside these luxurious confines where I have the privilege of meeting the architect. Finding myself alone with him, I make a point of commending him for what I feel is a remarkable building. The place is genuinely spectacular. He thanks me.

“It’s bittersweet,” he tells me. “I’m very proud of this place, but …” He hesitates. “I wasn’t paid what was promised,” he says. I just listen. “Trump pays half upfront,” he says, “but he’ll stiff you for the rest once the project is completed.”

“He stiffed you?”

“If I tried to sue, the legal bills would be more than what I was owed. He knew that. He basically said Take what I’m offering,” and I see how heavy this is for the man, all these years later. “So, we sent the invoice. He didn’t even pay that,” he says. None of this will be in the show. Not Trump’s suggested infidelities, nor his aversion toward paying those who work for him.

As the first season drew to a close, Jackson (the Black finalist) had no shot at winning in Trump’s world, especially after the show’s star told producers and his team, “I mean, would America buy a n— winning?”

Those remarks were caught on video and audio, but never aired, because they would have shown the wrong side of the show’s star. Mark Burnett, executive producer of “The Apprentice,” owns all the tapes, but has vowed to never make them public. And it wasn’t the only time Trump spewed such ugly remarks.

Without a doubt, the hardest decisions we faced in postproduction were how to edit together sequences involving Trump. We needed him to sound sharp, dignified, and clear on what he was looking for and not as if he was yelling at people. You see him today: When he reads from a teleprompter, he comes off as loud and stoic. Go to one of his rallies and he’s the off-the-cuff rambler rousing his followers into a frenzy. While filming, he struggled to convey even the most basic items. But as he became more comfortable with filming, Trump made raucous comments he found funny or amusing—some of them misogynistic as well as racist. We cut those comments. Go to one of his rallies today and you can hear many of them.

Pruitt lays out even more details about working on “The Apprentice” before these concluding paragraphs:

A reality TV show gave rise to an avaricious hustler, and a deal was made: Subvert the facts, look past the deficiencies, deceive where necessary, and prevail in the name of television ratings and good, clean fun.

Trump is making another run at the White House and is leading in certain polls. People I know enthusiastically support him and expect he’ll return to office. It’s not just hats, sneakers, a fragrance, or Bibles. Donald Trump is selling his vision of the world, and people are buying it.

Knowing all they know, how could these people still think he’s capable of being president of the United States?

The sad thing is that Pruitt’s piece (which you should read in full here) won’t change anyone’s mind, a horrifying prospect as we get closer to what could end up being the final episode of another reality show called “Election Day.”