Erin Burnett on judging ‘The Apprentice’ and working with Donald Trump

Erin Burnett

Erin Burnett attends the Turner Upfront 2016 arrivals at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 18, 2016 in New York City.

Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

CNN anchor Erin Burnett knows a thing or two about how President-elect Donald Trump controls a boardroom. And luckily, she never heard the words, ‘You’re fired.’

Instead, Burnett had a seat on Trump’s side of the table, serving as a guest judge for a number of seasons of The Apprentice when Ivanka Trump was unable to be present.

“He is very much the person now that he was then,” Burnett recalled when speaking with Dan Rather on Tuesday. “He is very convincing when he wants to talk to people.”

And while allegations of sexual harassment between Trump and an Apprentice contestant surfaced during the 2016 presidential race, Burnett explained she “never personally had any interaction with him as a woman, along the lines of what we heard this fall.”

She added, “Subsequently, I know a woman who has, we interviewed woman who have, so we covered that story extensively. I just personally did not have that experience. I never saw him in any other light than a professional one.”

Professionally, Burnett interviewed Trump throughout the years — as a CNBC anchor and in her current role as host of OutFront on CNN.

And over the course of the past decade, Burnett developed insight into the president-elect’s stances on both China and foreign oil.

“Those are the things he cares about, and has cared about extensively over, I guess I would say 10 or 12 years that I have known him,” Burnett explained. “Those topics are not new, they’re not fly by night, they’re not just Donald Trump, you know, lifting his finger and sees what sticks, those two areas are areas he’s been very consistent with. Chinese currency manipulation, those things. And as a person, he was always courteous.”

As far as economic policy, Burnett explained that a lot of individuals she’s spoken with in the business community “see a lot of merit in what Trump is saying about trade.”

Erin Burnett touched on the hope by many that “Trump can successfully use that leverage with China on North Korea” to strike deals overseas.

However, she admitted that it might be a far-fetched goal: “Can he just come in and do it magically? And perhaps he has that same, he has some real rose-eyed glasses when it comes to China.”

Dan Rather’s America airs Tuesdays at 10 am ET on Radio Andy (Ch. 102)

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