What does Donald Trump have that you don’t? Let’s see. Hotels. Casinos. A private jet. The right to scoff at coupons. But now the 57-year-old real estate multibillionaire is really rubbing it in: He’s got an NBC reality show, The Apprentice (debuting Jan. 8), in which he lords over 16 wannabe entrepreneurs competing for a six-figure job in his empire. Before the Donald puts these contestants through the wringer, we dealt him the ultimate Trump card: Stupid Questions. — Dan Snierson
Do you ever walk up to a guy in a Mercedes, pull your wallet out of your pocket, tear up a thick wad of C-notes, and say, ”Dude, still richer than you!”
No, but I’m always thinking about it.
Think about this: If you and I combined our holdings, we could be a major player in the New York real estate market.
You’re right about that. It may be a little one-sided, but it’s not a bad idea.
When you withdraw money from the ATM, does the bank fold in on itself and disappear before your very eyes?
I’ve never used an ATM.
You own more than 18 million square feet of office and residential space in Manhattan. Based on that square footage, what is your total net operating income and what cap rate would you use to determine the overall value of your holdings?
It depends on a lot of different things. It’s very complicated…
What if we assumed 10 percent inflation over 15 years with, you know, all the stuff I said before?
In real estate you love to assume inflation because real estate is the greatest hedge against inflation.
Do you think I have any idea what I’m talking about?
In The First Wives Club, Ivana advises, ”Don’t get mad, get everything.” How did you get even with her for that comment?
Well, it was only a comment. It wasn’t a fact. Believe me.
If I were your apprentice for a day, would I learn how to get a hairstyle like yours? Just look in the mirror and play with it until you think it looks good.
At the end of every Apprentice episode, you fire someone in your boardroom. In real life, when you fire people on your private jet, does an executive dump hatch open up and shoot their shamed bodies back to earth?
Usually I give them parachutes.
My editor, Wook, is bugging me to file this story. I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind firing him really quickly. It’d be my honor. [Conference call is set up.] WOOK: Hello?
Hey, Wook, it’s Dan. I’ve got Donald Trump on the line and he has something to say to you.
DONALD: Wook, how are you? I’m calling you at Dan’s request. He wants me to fire you, but you know I would never do that because I’m too nice of a guy. But you ought to fire Dan because he wants me to fire you. WOOK: [Considering] I think I might do that.
Hmmm. That didn’t go as I’d planned.