Two former Apprentice stars stopped by NewsOne Friday after their explosive press conference in which they condemned Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for its xenophobia, racism, violence, and hate.
Season 4 winner Randal Pinkett and Season 1 runner-up Kwame Jackson said during an interview at NewsOne offices that the Republican presidential front-runner threatened to reveal video of the men praising The Donald while participating on the reality show nearly a decade ago.
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Unfazed by the threats, the successful entrepreneurs said it’s important to denounce Trump’s candidacy because of his divisive practices and disparaging remarks against immigrants and people of color.
On Thursday, Trump called them failing wannabes who were disloyal and biting the hand that feeds them, Pinkett said.
Pinkett and Jackson are among six Apprentice contestants to speak out against Trump, including Marshawn Evans Daniels. Daniels told NewsOne in a phone interview that she was surprised to hear from Trump so quickly.
“But I was not surprised by his actual response when he did reply,” she said. “He called us six failing wannabes. Name-calling is what Trump does. His reaction for me was an affirmation that our decision was the right step and right stance, because name-calling is befitting of a child, not the president of the United States.”
Pinkett added that Trump on Friday made another threat.
“He said he’s going to run video of us saying glowing things about him, as if that is going to discredit some of the things we’re saying about him,” Pinkett said. “First, you can look at any of our backgrounds. Kwame is a Harvard MBA. I’m a M.I.T. Ph.D, and a Rhodes Scholar. All of us are entrepreneurs and business owners.”
Pinkett went on to say they do not deny Trump’s success as a marketer and real estate mogul, but they are concerned about his foray into the political arena.
“We’re in a political conversation about the future of America,” he said. “That trumps any prior experience or relationship we had with Donald and we ask ourselves if he’s fit to become president. Our answer collectively is no.”
Jackson added that “blind loyalty just isn’t cute. What I think Donald does not have is that group of individuals, this kind of team of rivals, to check some of the things in his ego, the lack of diversity in his circle, both in viewpoints and ethnicity. We’re offering that course to him. Whether he chooses to listen to it is up to him.
“Yes, he’s going to come after us,” Jackson continued. “I call it schoolyard bullying 101. The best way to stop a bully is to punch him in the nose. Today, I’m stopping him with my words. I’m punching him with my actions. And I will continue to punch him to let him know that Randal and I are here as confident individuals and we’re going to be that model long after this passes.”
They answered several questions on video, including the two below. To see the entire interview, watch the video above.
NewsOne: What do you hope to accomplish?
Kwame Jackson: We hope to effect change among voters so that people don’t make an uninformed decision.
NewsOne: Do you think your condemnation can effect change?
Randal Pinkett: We absolutely believe that our condemnation can effect change. We wouldn’t have held the press conference if we didn’t believe that. I personally see it along two lines. One is, think about how Trump is giving voice to certain segments of America. Today, we gave voice to another segment in America. They said, ‘Yes, I agree with you. We’re proud that you stood up and spoke out.’ That is one part of it. The other part of it is that people who may be on the fence or may be blinded by Trump aura and gravitas that will say, ‘Hey, these folks worked with him, they were on the show upon which he has predicated his candidacy, partly. Maybe I should think differently about Donald if people that know him and worked with him are saying, I don’t think Donald is right for America.’ Maybe they will say, ‘I should cast a different vote.’
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty