Jeff Gaspin was head of reality at NBC when producer Mark Burnett pitched him a business reality series starring Donald Trump. Originally, it was not supposed to be a long-term gig for the bombastic businessman who only was attached for the first season. He went on to stay on The Apprentice and its offshoot Celebrity Apprentice for 11 years, until embarking on a campaign to become the next U.S. president.

What does Gaspin, who originally bought and developed The Apprentice at NBC, think about Trump’s ascent to a Republican White House nominee and the role the NBC reality series might have played in it?

The Apprentice was just the training platform for Mr. Trump for his loftier goals,” Gaspin said. “Reality television is one thing, running for president is something entirely different.”

Gaspin made the comments in an interview about his new job; he has joined music publishing, talent management and production company Primary Wave Entertainment as president.