President Trump has made no shortage of enemies within the billionaire community. During the presidential campaign, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called him "an idiot" and "an immediate and present danger to the country" and said he'd rather elect a ham sandwich.
Now add British gazillionaire Richard Branson to the pile. In his new autobiography, Branson publishes hate mail he received from Trump in 2006, when the future president was host of The Apprentice and Branson had his own entrepreneur-search show, The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best.
Trump, as we know, does not like being challenged, and he made this clear to Branson in his letter, which Branson recounts as follows:
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 45 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 11 Pictures
...now that I have watched your show, I wish you came to me and asked my advice - I would have told you not to bother.
You have no television persona and, as I found out with others a long time ago, if it's not there there's not a thing in the world you can do about it. At least your dismal ratings can now allow you to concentrate on your airline which, I am sure, needs every ounce of your energy.
It is obviously a terrible business and I can't imagine, with fuel prices etc., that you can be doing any better in it than anyone else.
Like television, you should try to get out the airline business too, as soon as possible!
Actually, I wonder out loud how you can be anywhere close to a billionaire and be in that business.
Perhaps the title of your show, The Rebel Billionaire, is misleading?
In any event, do not use me to promote your rapidly sinking show - you are a big boy, try doing it yourself!
Donald J. Trump
Branson's show did, indeed, last only one season, while The Apprentice catapulted Trump to the first reality-show presidency.
But Branson wasn't shy about expressing his concern about Trump's fitness for the job, perhaps partly informed by their snail-mail run-in. "What concerns me most, based upon my personal experiences with Donald Trump, is his vindictive streak, which could be so dangerous if he got into the White House," he wrote on Virgin's blog in October 2016. "For somebody who is running to be the leader of the free world to be so wrapped up in himself, rather than concerned with global issues, is very worrying."