What Trump Was Like Before 2016 According To People Who Knew Him

5. Donny Deutsch – He’s Just Having Fun

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Donny Deutsch is a regular on Morning Joe, and like the main hosts, he’s known Trump for several years. His children and Trump’s have attended the same school, and Deutsch has pointed to Trump’s love for the spotlight as the start of what became his presidency.

“He’s going to be a very big factor, and he loves it,” he said at the start of Trump’s run for the presidency. “I know Donald well enough to know he’s just having fun.”

Deutsch’s tone has changed since it became clear Trump wasn’t just having fun, as he has become a consistent critic of the president.

4. Randal Pinkett – That Birther Stuff Is BS

Most winners and contestants who made it deep into The Apprentice have mostly positive things to say about Trump. Dr. Randal Pinkett is a notable exception. Although Trump showed concern on camera following the death of Pinkett’s grandmother, things weren’t comfortable between the two men when the cameras stopped rolling.

Notably, Pinkett was offended by Trump’s insinuation that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States and privately told Trump that. According to Pinkett, however, Trump accused him of making it a publicity issue.

“Donald surrounds himself with people who don’t challenge him,” Pinkett said. “He weeds out people who want to challenge Donald or who want to be critical of Donald.”

Check out an opposing view from a winner of The Apprentice in No. 3!

3. Bill Rancic – He Lifted Me Up, He’ll Do The Same For America

Pinkett’s memories of Trump aren’t warm, but Bill Rancic, the winner of season one, sees a different person than what his fellow alum of The Apprentice saw. Rancic saw a hard worker in Trump and a person who valued a similar work ethic.

“I see him as someone who likes to lift people up,” Rancic said. “He lifted me up. He gave me an opportunity that was absolutely spectacular and I think he’s going to do the same for all of America.”

2. Charley Steiner – He Wants Attention No Matter What

In the 1980’s, Donald Trump made his foray into professional sports by purchasing the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, a move that brought him attention he desperately craved according to announcer Charley Steiner, who said Trump wanted to be a big shot.

“What Trump desired, what he craved, was attention—imagine that,” Steiner said. “He felt that buying a football team, albeit the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, not the NFL, would get him into the greater media consciousness.”

The fame from football lasted only two years, as Trump’s ill-fated attempt to challenge the NFL plunged the USFL into bankruptcy.

Find out about the person who unquestionably knows Trump the best in slide No. 1!

1. John Miller – He’s Great, Just Great, I’m Telling You

Of course, nobody knows Donald Trump better than his former publicist John Miller, for the excellent reason that the two men are one and the same. In the 1990’s, Trump pretended to be his own publicist to try to get positive stories about him in the press while going through the end of his first marriage to Ivana Trump. One tactic was to play up his treatment of his ex-wife and his eventual second wife, Marla Maples.

“He’s a good guy, and he’s not going to hurt anybody,” “Miller” said. “He treated his wife well and . . . he will treat Marla well.”

Trump admitted Miller was a joke in the 1990s, but years later, claimed to have never heard the name.

When you look at the information from people who know the 45th president best, the underlying truth is that there’s a mix of personality traits that make up who Donald Trump really is.

When the cameras aren’t rolling and he’s stepped away from the limelight, he can be gregarious, charming and funny to those people he enjoys and can show the hostile side that the media has seen many times to those who he doesn’t particularly care for.

Were there any traits that caught you off-guard or that you were surprised to learn about Trump? Whose take, if anyone, most closely matched your view of the man in office?

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