Trump to Sidekick: 'You're Fired!'

The Donald axes The Apprentice star Carolyn Kepcher

Donald Trump has told his Apprentice sidekick Carolyn Kepcher: “You’re fired,” a source close to Trump has confirmed to PEOPLE.

Although Kepcher was relieved of her duties as general manager of Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff just this week, a source close to The Donald says he has been unhappy with her for months.

“This has been brewing for over a year,” says the source. “He has tried to get her on the phone, and she was either off giving a speech or was hard to reach.”

Of the firing, Trump’s rep, Jim Dowd, would only say, “Mr. Trump wishes her the best.”

But, according to the source, Trump felt Kepcher wasn’t doing her job properly, and instead was more focused on building her own brand.

“She was supposed to be managing the golf course. She was supposed to be selling memberships. That’s her job to sell memberships, and she just wasn’t doing it,” the source tells PEOPLE. “With the book, the speaking engagements and these endorsement deals, he’s looking at that and thinking, ‘She is supposed to be working for me. Yet, she is off creating her own empire.'”

Calls to Kepcher for comment have not been returned.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who has appeared on the show before, will continue to be on The Apprentice – but the source says Kepcher’s ouster has nothing to do with the younger Trump.

“Ivanka will definitely be back in an advisory role on The Apprentice in season six for several episodes, but to say that she has replaced Carolyn isn’t really accurate. You won’t see the same people (each week) sitting next to Donald. Donald Jr. will be seen in at least one episode and Ivanka will be in several.”

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