A Date with the Donald. Reporter Climbed TrumpWorld's Tower of Babble and Survived

Adland: 

In 2003 I was assigned to write about Donald Trump, which was published as Assessing Donald Trump as brand in Adage.

When I first met Donald Trump, he did not grab.

He limply shook my hand.

But I was just a guy, and a member of what The Donald now considers the lowliest caste of the lowest class of people—a journalist at a business trade magazine.

He offered me plastic cuff links.

In May 2003, I was on staff at Advertising Age working on a story about the maiden launch of The Apprentice.

At the time Trumpland was enduring marital scandals and massive financial losses associated with casino bankruptcies. He was reduced to rubble and a recurring call-in guest role on the Howard Stern show.

The Donald needed to be great again.

Read the full story on Business Insider here: My strange encounter with Donald Trump when I was a reporter covering 'The Apprentice'

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about the author

Linnett Richard Linnett, a former long-time marketing reporter at Adweek and Advertising Age, is a freelance writer and public relations consultant. He is the author of "In the Godfather Garden: The Long Life and Times of Richie the Boot Boiardo"