NBC launched Donald Trump’s presidential campaign years ago when it debuted The Apprentice, filmmaker Michael Kirk insisted this afternoon at TCA, in case you’re looking for someone to blame.

The reality competition series, which was hugely popular in its early seasons, “was far more important than we thought it would be,” in Trump’s political trajectory, said the producer of FrontlineThe Choice 2016, which is documenting the story of Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns to become our next POTUS.
Trump’s first appearance on The Apprentice was most definitely intended to appear as “a presidential moment,” Kirk insisted. “Go back and look on YouTube at the words he says at the beginning; it was positively designed to be presidential.”
Kirk says it’s his responsibility to delve into the “dark side” of the two candidates, who he boasted several times he knows very well. As in: “There is a lot about Trump that’s out in the open, but a lot … that you didn’t know, that I know. And in a month and a half, I will be able to tell you.”

His reaction to Clinton’s historic acceptance speech last night at the DNC, making her the first female nominee of a major U.S. political party? “Boy, they’ve spent a tremendous amount of money preparing her for this moment.” The Choice 2016 will document the ways in which Clinton “worked and sacrificed and compromised and built the shell around herself” to achieve this week’s nomination.

Clinton was “a superstar coming out of Wellesley College,” while Donald Trump “is a tabloid institution and star of The Apprentice and on the tip of Hollywood producers’ tongues for 30 years.”

Clinton, as described by Kirk, has a “secrecy penchant” that is, in part, the result of her mom and dad and “the way the family dynamic worked.”

Trump, on the other hand, is “a great entertainer and a great intuitive judge of the audience/voters.” The GOP nominee has “changed the nature of the dialogue and it’s going to be interesting how she handles that.”

“Remember, this is a woman who, when Bill Clinton comes into the bedroom and says, ‘There’s a funny story going around about this intern,’ this is a woman who goes on the Today show five days later and defends him – and she knows. She fought for Bill and fought for this relationship and fought for where she got to last night. She’ll do what she has to do to take on Trump, and I know Trump is going to do what he needs to do to take on [Clinton]. So fasten your seat belts for the next couple months.”