When the call came, it was unexpected. Donald Trump had appointed me to be a judge. Not on the federal bench but at the Miss USA pageant. This was back in 2001, and Trump owned the competition underneath the umbrella of his Miss Universe Organization. My qualifications at the time included having been previously crowned Miss Guinness and Miss Coney Island Mermaid Queen. I’m not sure Trump knew much about my prior reigns, but then again, I doubt he knows much about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s legal career, either.

Flapping His Gums

Trump’s name was well known by the early 90s, when I was a V.J. at MTV. My segments were often shot at his properties, such as the Plaza hotel and the Trump Taj Mahal casino. Great politicians have the magnetism and charm to make you feel like you are the only person in a crowded room, but whenever I interviewed Trump, it felt like he was the only person in the room.