What 'Apprentice' Contestants Think About Donald Trump Running For President — Their Reactions Are Pretty Surprising
NBC Universal may have fired Donald Trump from The Apprentice, but that doesn't mean the show won't go on without him. There have so far been 14 seasons of the highly popular reality show that has contestants vying for a position in the Trump Empire. While the network continues to search for a new host, former contestants are speaking out about Trump's presidential bid. From total support to absolute derision, here's what former Apprentice contestants think about Donald Trump.
Perhaps the most surprising show of support came from former Playboy playmate Brande Roderick, who competed in Season 2 of Celebrity Apprentice. Though she didn't win, she returned for a season of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. During the show, Trump famously suggested Roderick would look "pretty on her knees," a statement that came to the forefront after Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly brought up the encounter during the first GOP debate earlier this month as she questioned Trump's past misogynistic statements. Roderick has since defended Trump, saying she doesn't even remember the quip being made in the first place. Speaking with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, Roderick had this to say about the incident:
Omarosa Manigault, who appeared on the first season of The Apprentice, had similarly glowing things to say about Trump. Manigault has even playfully retweeted pleas to make her Trump's vice president if he were chosen as the GOP nominee. Regarding the legitimacy of his candidacy, the former contestant had far more positive things to say. Manigault spoke glowingly in an interview with MSNBC despite explicitly stating she wouldn't vote for him:
Other than these two women, the majority of former Apprentice stars have stayed pretty quiet about Trump entering the political sphere, though there is one former contestant whose derision of Trump stands out the most: Penn Jillette. Following his campaign announcement, Jillette incredulously tweeted, "Does anyone know anyone who is seriously supporting Trump for president? Even one person? I guess I know Donald, but other than him?" Trump fired back a month later, complaining about Jillette's Broadway show and claiming that "without The Apprentice, [the] show would have died long ago."
When it comes to statements that Trump has specifically made while running, Apprentice Season 1 contestant Katrina Campins and Season 4 winner Randall Pinkett had plenty to say about Trump's controversial immigration comments. The two were interviewed together on CNN on July 10, and both had dissenting opinions about the issue. Campins was particularly vocal, praising Trump's honesty and ability to bring such an important issue to the forefront, saying:
Pinkett, meanwhile, completely disagreed with Campins' sentiments as well as Trump's doubling down on his comments against Mexicans:
No matter what Apprentice alums have had to say about The Donald, he's still leading the GOP pack. Based off a recent Fox News poll, Trump has 25 percent of the Republican vote. It seems the loss of the Apprentice franchise doesn't have any impact on his commanding performance with Americans.