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Hey Donald -- Where'd YOU Learn to Count?

1/11/2007 8:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Call it the "Art of the Spin."

Donald Trump granted an "exclusive" interview to the "Today" show this morning with the express purpose of refuting Rosie's gleeful assertion from Wednesday -- namely, that the debut episode of this season's "The Apprentice" had "tanked" in the ratings. The only problem was, it did tank. It was third in the 10-11 PM slot, well behind "Desperate Housewives" and "Cold Case."

In his inimitably self-satisfied way, Trump told "Today's" Natalie Morales that his show was "the most successful show in the last 14 months in its timeslot." Uh, what? Actually, it wasn't even the most successful show that NBC has run in the 9:30-11:00 PM timeslot since October 2005. Its 5.5 household rating can't match that of "Crossing Jordan" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," the two other shows that have recently run in that slot.

Of course, the Donald was saying all this on NBC, which, of course, just happens to air "The Apprentice." Hmm.

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