Karyn L. Barr and Jennifer Armstrong
April 02, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Not everything that happens on The Apprentice is as clear as Trump Ice. We hit the streets to investigate the questions that are monopolizing our Donald-addicted brains.

Is that really Trump’s boardroom?

As bootee Tammy Lee would argue, we’ve been duped! The Donald’s dreaded boardroom (and its wood-paneled reception area) was constructed for the show, says a rep for NBC. The set is rumored to be on the same floor as the contestants’ loft, which makes taking the elevator ”up to the suite” a wee bit difficult…

What’s the deal with Robin?

The ”Mr. Trump will see you now” secretary (last name: Himmler) has worked for Trump for four years. Present for every tortured moment of the boardroom scenes, she was usually stuck with the folks on the firing line for a good half hour during the closed-door deliberations. Did they use the time to kiss up to her? ”I’m sure I saw them on their best behavior,” she says.

Where did George go?

The Donald’s senior counsel, who’s been MIA at three boardroom sit-downs, will say only that he had to ”tend to a business situation. Let’s put it this way: There are things that will mean more dollars for the organization than The Apprentice does.” His stand-ins? Exec VP and general counsel Bernie Diamond and Mark Brown, CEO and president of Trump Taj Mahal.

Sure, the loft and those luxurious rewards are compliments of Trump, but who gets the check when the players are off the clock and on the town?

As long as cameras are present, the show will pick up the tab. A good thing, because, according to an NBC rep, contestants aren’t allowed to carry their own money or use ATMs during filming.

Is it that easy to catch a cab in front of Trump Tower?

We’ve noticed that one of two cabs (No. 4N44 and No. 8Y80) is always conveniently curbside, but the real head-scratcher is how the recently rejected enter the elevator sporting one getup, walk out of the tower wearing something entirely different, and then return to their original garb for their taxicab confession. NBC declines to comment, but we’re suspecting a piece of producer Mark Burnett’s magic.

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