Advice to President Elect Donald Trump from His Original Apprentice

Congratulations! Now the hard work begins. Since you paid me a lot of money for my advice as a 26 year old and taught me a lot thru my 20’s, I’ll offer what I can at this very crucial time in the same blunt concise manner I did back in 1990 as Vice President of The Trump Organization. So here’s what “The Boy who would be Trump” (New York Magazine 1985), “The Original Apprentice” (New York Times 2005) and a former recipient of the New York City Developer of the Year Award, now called the Fred C. Trump Outstanding Real Estate Achievement Award, has to say.

You have to get out in front of the protests and riots. Having known you for over 30 years, I know one thing for sure, you are not a bigot nor prejudiced. I don’t know how this one got so far out of control, but I do believe the media and your opponents are behind it to some extent. So, do what you do best. Get right in front of them and speak your mind. Maybe in this instance, speak from your heart. I know you did this because you always thought you could do the job and not for money or fame. The job’s going to be hard enough so you don’t need this. I remember the first book signing party you invited me to in 1985. Al Sharpton, Don King, Dr. Ruth, plenty of black athletes and entertainers were all there. You’ve got to get some of these folks to get on the air waves and say “Hey, you can hate him for other stuff but not this!”

Your cabinet and inner circle has too many old white dudes. Your cabinet should look like America and this will help solve my first point. You need African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and you need to announce this now! Also, stay away from the establishment. I know you need some but right now it looks like you’re doing the same thing Jeb Bush would have done. Be unique. If I were you, I would get Bernie Sanders in your cabinet in a top position. Heck, you’re both really independent and could make a great team. I always thought if you both didn’t win the primaries, a Trump-Sanders independent ticket would have won by a landslide and been quite entertaining to watch.

Make your top priority rebuilding America’s inner cities. You’re a builder. Get out there now! Read “How the Real Estate Industry can save America” by Billy Procida (REFI Magazine June 2012). Visit the ten worst cities in America and appoint a development czar to help transform them. If you want I’ll take the job since I’m one of the few people that’s done it well.

Fix America’s gang problem and you’ll fix a lot of stuff at once. Kids don’t join gangs to deal drugs or kill people. They join to be part of a family because they typically come from broken homes. You solve this, you solve crime and lower prison costs, court costs, poverty costs, and you’ll save lives. All it requires is to have someone focused on it like a laser. See “Making Trumps out of the Bloods and Crips” by Billy Procida (Forbes, 2009). My original title was “Why the Bloods and the Crips are the Cure for the American Budget Deficit” but Forbes changed it. Redirect that energy and you’ll save the country. They are bigger than most police forces in their neighborhoods.

While I’m all for compassion, and yes we need to have some, most foreign aid is stolen and ends up back in the US in the form of real estate purchases, particularly condominiums. Give, but let’s not get ripped off!

We’ve got to get out of all these wars and make friends with Putin. With Russia and America truly aligned, no one could mess with that kind of power, and I’d try to get China in on it as well. No one can afford this financially and the human toll is immeasurable, not to mention the Middle East is in ruins. Who do you think is going to foot the trillion dollar bill to rebuild these devastated cities that are now rubble?

Regarding immigration, make it clear you are getting rid of criminals, not nice, law-abiding, good folks. This message does not seem to be getting across. Again, this helps solve my 1st point.

We’ve gotta stop spending what we ain’t got and stop borrowing just to give it away.

Your kids are all good people. I knew them when they were little and they’ve grown up to be wonderful people, but putting them in the mix at this point might not be such a good idea. Plus, running your company will take all of their collective efforts, and they need to work on their own brands. Keep Jared Kushner around but not in your cabinet. You want him with your daughter; life for them won’t be easy.

Get out of Trump Tower. Your neighbors and retailers are going to hate and/or sue you. Ask Obama for Camp David. Good place for you to focus, plus it’s got all the Presidential stuff you need to get used to.

Easy Jobs and Cyber Security — Our banks and credit card companies employ hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and throughout the world servicing our mortgages and credit cards. You name them; Bank of America, Wells Fargo, American Express, JP Morgan all outsource internationally. What’s more alarming and something that most Americans don’t know is that when you apply for a mortgage today, chances are the person they speak to is not an American and often they are from a country we are or may end up in a fight with. They are given our most personal information and the same goes for credit card companies! Since we the people bailed out these banks and Wall Street institution we should demand all of those jobs and all that personal information be brought back to America or else! It’s an easy 100,000 jobs not to mention every job that comes back creates a few more. You tackle jobs and cyber security in one move. During the mortgage crisis I appeared on Fox, CNN and CNBC shouting about this issue and no politicians even looked into it. This as they say is “low hanging fruit.” We the people subsidized these banks during their financial crisis and them sending jobs that handle sensitive information overseas is just not right.

All elected officials should have to be Independents. Wanna stop grid lock and get things done? End this red, blue, left, right bickering and all out fighting. Just pass a law that says after you’re elected you’re an American and that’s it! You should have to resign from your party and just work together to serve the American people and not some political party, which is corrupt and dysfunctional.

There should be no job hunting while an elected official is being paid by us. All of these governors and senators who we the people are paying to do a job, who run off and campaign for a new job while being paid for the one they were elected to do is crazy and must be stopped. If you got elected and are being paid to do a job, DO IT. If you want to run for another job then you should have to quit like the rest of us. This is absolute BS. Can you imagine this in the private sector? Could you imagine when I worked for you walking into your office and saying “he Donald, I’m gonna go look for another job and while I’m looking I want you to pay me, and if I don’t get the job I want I’m coming back to do what you hired me to do. And while I’m out looking my assistant will do my job.” I can tell you what you’d say… “You’re fired!”

Abortion — Men should have no say. All these old white guys who make this an issue should have no say! If my daughter is ever confronted with this issue it’s between me and my daughter. No politician should tell my kid what to do with her body! Also last I checked it’s men that impregnate woman so for any man to legislate on this is ludicrous. A guy spends 10 minutes having sex and a woman has to live with it for 9 months; It’s BS and you and we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Gangs -I know I mentioned this earlier but it’s important. Magic Johnson was successful in getting a truce among gangs in LA where he built one of his first theaters. You need a gang task force with a jobs and training program. Get Magic, Michael Jordan and some others notable names to spearhead this. The sheer numbers of gang members is alarming. Some say there are as many as one million, which warrants its own committee. They started 40 years ago as community organizers. It may take 40 more years to turn it around but it has to be done. Redirecting the energy of a million young Americans who currently believe that dealing drugs and violence is the only way of life is no different from the young soldiers fighting for ISIS. We must save these kids or pay and pay and pay for courts and prisons and child care and housing and food stamps for the kids they leave behind when they go to prison or die.

Health care — It’s not Obamacare that’s the problem, it starts with the FDA taking years and millions of dollars to approve new drugs and procedures. It’s the cost of malpractice insurance for doctors. It’s the bloated administrative costs required to comply with all the new regulations. It’s the fraud that rampantly exists not to mention the huge salaries at the high levels of our hospitals and the insurance companies. There’s no need to GUT it, just fix it and make it efficient.

For what it’s worth, I can confirm you were up against a huge media bias that I experienced first-hand. While I appeared on news shows in Japan, Russia and Germany, when I spent an afternoon filming an NBC special, I was cut because I had nothing bad to say.

What befuddles me still is that people don’t get you. Your “supporters” think you’re one thing which I don’t believe you are, and your “haters” think you’re another thing, which again, I don’t believe you are.

I love this country and wish you all the luck. If you need me I’ll be there, as I always have.

I now have the distinction of bringing our President to his first and only Grateful Dead show (The New Yorker 2006). Hey, maybe we should get Bob Weir on your cabinet as Chief Peace Ambassador!

Your friend and former colleague,

Billy Procida

CEO of Procida Funding & Advisors

More on Billy Procida:

Billy Procida is president of Procida Funding & Advisors, based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The firm specializes in providing management and capital for both distressed and value-added situations and manages The 100 Mile Fund, the third fund Mr. Procida has formed. During his 30-year career, Mr. Procida has completed several billion dollars in projects as financier, developer, builder and restructuring advisor.

In 1990, Procida took on a full-time assignment with the Trump Organization. During this time, Mr. Procida reported directly to Mr. Donald Trump on investments, which included casinos, airlines, real estate development, and sports franchises.

Mr. Procida’s career has been covered extensively by the press and he has become a regular fixture on national broadcast outlets, commenting on a range of topics. He has lectured on business and real estate at venues such as Yale University, Columbia University and New York University. He has also authored over 50 articles on the subject of real estate development, finance and the economy.

For more information, visit

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.