Since Donald Trump is evading the question about whether he is serious about running for president or just a reality star, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell came up with a simple way to find out: ask the bosses at NBC if they've done a deal to bring him back for another season of The Apprentice next fall. NBC is set to announce its lineup for the 2011-2012 season May 16, so it probably already knows whether Trump intends to come back or actually run for president. Trump's maybe-presidential campaign has, of course, dovetailed nicely with NBC's desires to get more people to watch the show's current season, Celebrity Apprentice. Trump claims that after the season finale on May 22, he'll be "free to announce" whether he's running.
But NBC will not confirm whether The Apprentice so O'Donnell's is taking to his patch of Peacock-branded air to demand the network come clean about the show's plans. "NBC has created a monster and it is called Donald Trump," O'Donnell said. "NBC can no longer stand idly by, not for one more day." NBC would not comment to the Associated Press. O'Donnell says that Trump could be on the show without forcing NBC to give equal airtime to competing candidates until he officially filed with the Federal Elections Commission. O'Donnell argued, "Trump is now hiding behind NBC when asked the single most important question in front of him: Are you going to run for president? And NBC is allowing him to hide behind NBC."
Trump aide Michael Cohen said, "I wouldn’t dignify Lawrence O’Donnell’s ridiculous statements by even providing a response."
Here's video of O'Donnell's challenge to NBC, which Mediaite's Alex Alvarez dubs "epic":