Omarosa Manigault of "The Apprentice" spent some time with with OnTheRedCarpet.com co-host Chris Balish at the Reality Rocks Expo on Sunday and talked about her "dear friend" Donald Trump's potential presidential campaign.
"I have to just say that Donald is a natural leader and the presidency requires leadership and he's a leader in business and the other twenty industries that he's in. I certainly think that he has the money, he has the media, he has the personality that's recognizable, what I'd love to see is for his message to me a lot clearer and so that's really the only part that's really missing out of the equation. I think as he goes along, we'll be able to see what his platform is and where he stands."
Manigault competed twice on Trump's reality series "The Apprentice" in 2004 and again in 2008. In her first run on the show, Manigault earned the reputation as reality TV's biggest villain. During her second season on the show, Manigault developed a personal feud with Piers Morgan, who eventually won the season.
Not only was Manigault the only "Apprentice" contestant to return for a second season, she also starred in the only spinoff show from "The Apprentice," as Manigault and Donald Trump went on to co-create and co-produce "The Ultimate Merger," a dating show.
"He's different than his TV persona, I think people can say that about me too. I wouldn't characterize it as 'nicer,' I think that his professionalism is what comes first. He wants to make sure that if you do a deal, you do it to the best of your ability and you make a ton of money, so I had to get focused on 'how do you make a ton of money from reality TV?' and Donald taught me how to do that with 'The Ultimate Merger.'"
Manigault worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel in the Office of the President, whose job involved identifying qualified candidates for appointments to high level positions in the administration.
During her time in the White House, Manigault got a glimpse of the challenges facing an American president.
"Having served in the White House and knowing how difficult that is," Manigault told OnTheRedCarpet.com "I have amazing respect for President Obama who inherited the toughest economy, several wars, several campaigns in the Middle East that just continue to be challenging, domestic issues that continue to just plague every aspect of our lives, whether that's Medicare, Medicaid, Education, Social Security - there's so much that you have to conquer if you're going to be president. And so, to each of them, whether it's McCain or Palin or my dear friend Trump, they have to understand the magnitude, the vastness of the responsibility that is the office of the president and I think it will be very difficult to beat president Obama."
Earlier in the month, Trump stirred controversy when he offered his birthing record rather than his birth certificate and criticized president Obama for taking so long to produce his birth certificate.
Trump told news outlets, including OnTheRedCarpet.com, that he would announce before June, after the end of the current fourth season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," whether or not he will run for president. Meanwhile, Trump was named as the headline speaker for the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner on June 10.
Trump has said last year that he was thinking about running for president in 2012 and laughed off suggestions that he might run with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who lost a Republican vice presidential bid in the 2008 election.
Trump had suggested running as a Republican in 1988 and eyed a presidential bid with the Reform Party in 1999. In 2007, he floated the idea of making talk show host Oprah Winfrey, now the world's most powerful celebrity, his running mate.
Since 2008, Trump has contributed more than $25,000 to campaigns of Democratic politicians and more than $2,000 to former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, public records show. In 2004, he donated funds to campaigns of both Bush and Kerry.
Reporting by Chris Balish, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).