Of course he does!
Erstwhile Republican presidential candidate and "Apprentice" boss Donald Trump is a hardcore business mogul for sure, but we wouldn't exactly call him a star-maker. But he certainly sees himself that way, claiming in his new book, "Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again," that he is the one who plucked a little-known pop singer from obscurity and positioned her to become the global superstar we now know as Lady Gaga.
"My people told me, 'Nobody knows who she is but there's this woman with good talent named Lady GaGa.'" Trump writes (via Hollyscoop). "And I said, 'Give me a break.' And then they said, 'She's really good.' So I said, 'I don't care, if you like her, put her on.' So we put her on… It was live all over the United States and all over the world and the next day, nobody was talking about Miss Universe, everybody was talking, 'Who was the woman, who was the entertainer? She was unbelievable."
To be fair, Trump was indeed one of the first to give Gaga a major platform to showcase her talents but exactly what impact that had on the singer's career is the issue. He put her on the "Miss Universe" pageant in mid-July 2008 … over three months after the release of her single "Just Dance" and a full six months before the song topped the Billboard singles charts. So the impact of performing on the pageant seems kind of negligible. But Trump doesn't see it that way.
"I don't want to say we made Lady Gaga, but she was incredible and that was her break," Trump says.
It's worth noting here that Trumps self-aggrandizing ways are on full display when he talks about his discovery of Gaga and just how "all over the United States" his pageant was. The 2008 "Miss Universe" pageant fell right in line with the show's long-declining ratings, pulling in 5.16 million eyes here in the U.S. and coming in third in its timeslot … behind repeats of ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition" and CBS' "Cold Case."
But as we'd expect of Mother Monster, she does seem grateful to have been given that early chance to showcase her talents, regardless of whether or not you consider it her "break."
"She’s been very gracious about it," Trump says. "About a year ago, when she was so hot, and she's hot now, she was performing at Radio City Musical Hall and there were a lot of celebrities, all sitting next to me, and her manager came up during the performance and said, 'Gaga wants to see you, but only Donald Trump.'"
We bet that's what she said, Donald. We bet…