Trump Says He Never Forgets People Who Cross Him

By Shannon Davidson

(LOS ANGELES, April 16th, 2004, 1:30 p.m.) -- NBC's hit show "The Apprentice" aired its final episode of the season Thursday on WAVE 3. Bill Rancic beat out Kwame Jackson and Trump gave Bill his first major assignment: manage the construction of a multi-million dollar luxury skyscraper in Chicago. Our Shannon Davidson recently sat down one-on-one with "The Donald"? in Los Angeles and found out what he'll expect from his new apprentice.

It's the show that s single-handedly made the corporate boardroom a virtual jungle, full of back stabbers and whiners. I caught up with Donald Trump in and asked him why he thinks the show was so popular.

"Nobody knows what happened with 'The Apprentice,'" Trump said, or "why it became the hottest show on television. I mean -- I have no idea. I know we did a really good show, it worked out well. There's a lot of everything there."

Indeed there was: competition, plenty of bickering and beautiful women willing to use their sexuality to make business deals. However, Trump believes there there was more brains than beauty. "Well, on 'The Apprentice,' they're not all beautiful -- Sam wasn't beautiful -- and some others weren't beautiful. But they're all very smart. I mean all 16 were very, very smart."

Hopefully smart enough to pick up on Trump's work ethic. "I really enjoy what I'm doing. And I don't give up, I don't stop, I go through walls if I have to, and I don t stop."

Here's a business tip from the man who sits number 71 on the Forbes 400 -- never try to pull a fast one. "I don't really forget. And that's bad, but I have a very, very long and good memory, and when somebody does a number on me, I don't forget it."

And for the man who decided which contestants went "up to the suite" or "down to the street," it wasn't personal -- it's just business.

Bill Rancic will receive a $250,000 annual salary as the head of one of Trump's companies. Kwame Jackson's number two performance had led to him being recruited for a week-long position as Chief Sales Officer for KFC, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands. Jackson will be paid $25,000 for his services.

About 215,000 people signed up for the first "Apprentice," and more than a million people have already signed up to try out for "Apprentice 2" -- and NBC has reportedly already signed a deal for a third running of the successful show.

Online Reporter:  Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever