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The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth-season premiere began with real estate mogul / blowhard / occasional political figure Donald Trump meeting with the season's celebrity cast and revealing he would be breaking them up into teams based on gender.

After the women lost, Patricia Velasquez then opted to take Cheryl Tiegs and Victoria Gotti back into the boardroom with her after Trump and his children (Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.) debated the women's failure and pinned it on both women.

Ultimately, Cheryl Tiegs became the first candidate fired this season.

Cheryl Tiegs Photo

Trump fired the supermodel and former True Beauty judge for her role in the first task, in which sandwiches were sold to charitable donors and customers for NYC delis.

Patricia was clearly off the hook because her entire team agreed she did an excellent job despite the team losing the task, and the team was still successful overall.

She went on to tell Trump she would ultimately fire Cheryl over Victoria because Victoria brought positive energy and passion that would help her team. Trump agreed.

"I don't think you feel comfortable in this environment ... do you?" Trump asked Cheryl. "I don't know if I fit into this group," Cheryl replied.

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Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney today in Las Vegas, Nev., contrary to earlier reports that he would get behind Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination.

"Mitt is tough. He is smart," Trump said, Romney at his side at a Las Vegas hotel bearing his name. "It is my honor, and privilege to endorse Mitt Romney."

Perhaps not coincidentally, Trump's announcement comes two days before the Nevada caucuses, and 10 days before the premiere of Celebrity Apprentice.

Probably more so the latter.

Mitt and Don

While some questioned whether Romney, a clear favorite in Nevada, would even want the endorsement of Trump, the Republican said he was glad to have it.

"It means a great deal to have the endorsement of Mr. Trump," Romney said, referring to the publicity maven the same way contestants on his show do.

Trump told reporters in Las Vegas ahead of the official announcement that he would hit the campaign trail on behalf of the Republican front-runner.

"Well they'd like me to and I'll do as much as I can," Trump said, adding that he would also consider donating to the Super PAC supporting Romney.

Several media outlets, including CBS News, The AP and The New York Times, erroneously reported that Trump would endorse Newt Gingrich instead.

Trump blamed the Gingrich campaign for spreading that word. Referring to the Gingrich campaign, he said: "They put that out. You know that right?"

If so ... what an epic fail by Newt.

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Real estate mogul / professional celebrity Donald Trump plans to endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president in Las Vegas, Nevada today.

The AP is reporting the endorsement will take place later today.

"He's got great ideas. He's very smart, he's very tough and he is a great debater," Trump said of Gingrich, who hasn't confirmed the report, on Sunday.

It's appropriate for the Donald to make his endorsement in Las Vegas, where he owns a 64-story hotel, and where the Nevada caucuses take place Saturday.

Trump-Newt

It also makes sense for him to endorse Gingrich for the GOP nomination in general, as Newt seems to best embody Trump's pugnacious political style.

It's unclear if Trump's endorsement will do much for Gingrich in Nevada ... or at all.

Gingrich was creamed by Mitt Romney in Florida's primary this Tuesday, and trails big in Nevada as well, though he vows to stay in the Republican race.

Trump's waning influence was on display in December, when he attempted to host a GOP debate, only to be rebuffed by everyone but Rick Santorum and Gingrich.

Still, a high-profile Republican stepping up for Newt in the wake of his recent setback shows that not everyone in the party is ready to coalesce around Mitt.

UPDATE: Or maybe not. Surces close to the Romney campaign claim that the real estate mogul will back the former Massachusetts governor instead!

Stay tuned ...

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The latest cast of Celebrity Apprentice has been officially announced, with Teresa Giudice, Clay Aiken, Dee Snider and Cheryl Tiegs leading the pack of random stars!

“This season of Celebrity Apprentice will be the most exciting yet," Donald Trump said in a statement, stopping short of calling it the greatest TV event of all time.

Here's The Donald with Giudice, The Real Housewives of New Jersey star:

  • Teresa Giudice Celebrity Apprentice Pic
  • The Don

"We are thrilled to bring 18 new and talented celebrities who will help me make Celebrity Apprentice one of the hottest shows on television this spring."

Joining the Donald in the board room, where he'll surely be plugging his non-Presidential campaign, as advisors are children Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump.

You can check out the full list of Celebrity Apprentice cast members - some of whom you have probably even heard of before - after the jump ...

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GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul appeared on Fox News Friday and was asked about a possible third-party Donald Trump run, now that he's become an independent.

Paul is not concerned.

“To each his own, he may do it. I doubt he’ll do it," he said. "If he really wanted to be president, why walk away? Why is he concerned he couldn’t do it as a Republican?”

“I have no idea what he is going to do,” Paul said.

“I don’t think he will be calling me for advice. I don’t think he will ask for an appointment to come see me to get advice or an endorsement. I’m not expecting that.”

Your World host Neil Cavuto asked the Republican hopeful why he never "kissed Trump’s ring" like many of the other candidates had over the past year. His reply:

“I didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate ... How could he endorse what I’m doing? My positions are pretty much opposite of what he talks about."

"He doesn’t believe in free market. He likes the Federal Reserve. He is not a free trader. He likes tariffs. So there is not a lot we have in common.”

That about sums it up from Paul's perspective.

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After years as a registered Republican, blowhard Donald Trump is breaking ranks with the party to become an unaffiliated, independent voter in New York State.

Trump made the change late last week, a move prompted by his stated interest in getting as much publicity as possible mounting a third-party presidential run.

"Mr. Trump has said for almost a year that if he is not satisfied with the Republican candidate, he may run as an independent," spokesman Michael Cohen said.

"This change in party affiliation certainly preserves his right to do so," he added, hilariously, but only "after the finale of The Apprentice in May."

Don Trump

Trump's Fox News rants have become a great sideshow this year.

Asked if any developments in the GOP race, or nearly all the candidates eschewing his big debate prompted Trump to make the change, Cohen insisted no.

Cohen did say Trump is "very disappointed" with how the Republican Party has handled the payroll tax extension, handing President Obama a political victory.

Trump has said he plans to endorse one of the Republicans running, and insists that is still his primary objective. However, he is no longer a Republican.

He will still be able to vote in the New York State GOP presidential primary in April, and will do so. It's just unclear right now who he'll be supporting.

Trump for President in '12?

 

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Due to all the candidates bailing competing interests, professional blowhard Donald Trump will no longer moderate a GOP presidential debate in Iowa later this month.

Trump explained he is pulling out of the event for two made-up reasons:

  1. He's not convinced there's a strong enough Republican challenger in the field.
  2. He wants the option to run himself (which he won't, but often threatens to).
Donald Trump Image

In reality, several leading candidates had already made it clear they wouldn't participate in a debate moderated by Trump. Ron Paul basically called it circus-like and beneath the presidency. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann also declined to attend.

Trump called them all cowards, saying it is "very important to me that the right candidate be chosen to defeat the destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right [one], I am not giving up my right to run as an Independent."

"Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate."

Now that is 100 percent BS. Still, do you think he should run?

 

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Donald Trump will moderate a debate between Republican Presidential hopefuls on December 27. There's just one problem:

Only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are currently scheduled to show up.

With Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman having already turned down the invitation, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry added their negative RSVPs this week, prompting The Donald to say these candidates are "scared" and that he may need to run against them after all.

  • Donald Trump Profile
  • Michelle Bachmann Newsweek Cover
  • Rick Perry Picture

"The Republicans are afraid of me running as an Independent," Trump tells TMZ. They’re all afraid. The only person NOT afraid is Newt... There are two reasons that these candidates are backing out of my debate. One, some just aren’t courageous people. Two, some are concerned that I may run as an Independent. They want me to give up ... and I’m NOT giving up."

We're not so sure, Don. Have you seen this Rick Perry ad?!? Say what you want about the man, but he isn't afraid to look like a moronic homophobe.

Trump for President?

 

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As if the Republican presidential race didn't already feel like a a reality show, Donald Trump is pairing up with conservative magazine and website Newsmax to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 27.

“Our readers and the grassroots really love Trump,” said Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy.

That they do, hilariously. From an entertainment standpoint, can you not?

Donald and Melania Trump Picture

Greatest. Presidential. Debate. Ever.

Trump’s role in the debate, which will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television, marks another memorable moment in a primary season that has been an unpredictable, publicity-driven, circus-like spectacle for months now.

The Donald toyed with running for president earlier this year and ran his mouth about Barack Obama's birth certificate until he was blue in the face. He ultimately declined against getting into the race and has not endorsed a candidate.

The debate, which will not be limited to a specific topic like national security or the economy, is set to happen just a week before the Iowa caucuses, and will be called the Newsmax Ion Television 2012 Presidential Debate.

Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have already declined invitations to participate, with the former bashing the event as beneath the office of the presidency. Herman Cain dropped out of the race yesterday, so he won't be there either.

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Jon Stewart is facing Donald Trump's wrath (been too long since we heard from him on political matters) after making what the latter calls a "racist rant" about Herman Cain.

Specifically, Trump took issue with the comedian's commentary on the GOP presidential candidate's confusing denial of sexual harassment charges during the 1990s.

Stewart likened Cain's answer to being asked "Have you ever kidnapped a baby?" only to respond, "No. Well, other than the Lindbergh baby." Funny? Not to Trump ...

Trump was upset about Stewart's imitation of Herman Cain, saying, "It's not what he said, but the way he said. The tone of his voice, the inflection. Unbelievable."

He called out officials saying they're letting Stewart "get away" with it.

"Other people get taken off the air, and when he [Stewart] says it, people smile and sort of say, 'Wow, I can't believe he gets away with that,'" Trump explained.

Trump said others are lambasted for non-political correctness, but never Stewart, even if he does "a horrible, horrible thing to the African-American community."

Whether or not this constitutes "horrible" is a matter of opinion, clearly. But maybe Don should look back at a certain pot-stirring crusade he waged not long ago.

On the flip side, Stewart does go after certain people harder than others, and with a very different style. If that's the Donald's point, it's not totally off base.

Jon's primary target seems to be media coverage of Cain, not the Republican candidate himself, though. Is Trump overreacting or was Stewart just offensive?

Tell us what you think by hitting the comments and the poll below ...