What Hollywood Producer Mark Burnett Had to Say About Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with members of the head table at the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower has addressed the annual event.
Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

President Donald Trump hailed this year’s National Prayer Breakfast as “a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation.” 

He made that comment after being introduced by long-time friend Mark Burnett, who served as last year’s keynote speaker.

Burnett and his wife Roma Downey produced the wildly popular “The Bible” television series.  Burnett is also the creator of the reality program “Survivor,” and “The Apprentice,” which featured Donald Trump and ran for 14 seasons.

Burnett recalled pitching the idea to Trump who had turned down a number of reality show requests before that, but liked Burnett’s idea of helping people learn what it takes to make it in business.

The crowd laughed when Burnett recalled making a deal with Trump to do “The Apprentice.” He said Trump told him to run it past Trump’s agent, who balked at the idea, thought it would never work, and said no, despite learning that Trump already said yes.  Burnett said when Trump got wind of that, Trump told his secretary to get in touch with his agent “and tell him…you’re fired.”

Burnett said his friendship with Trump is “one of the greatest relationships of my life” and over 14 years “never had a single bad word between us.” As the President walked to the podium, the two shook hands and Burnett said, “I love you.”

“We’ve had an amazing life together, the last 14, 15 years.  And an outstanding man, and thank you very much for introducing me.  Appreciate it.  It’s a great honor,” Trump said at the beginning of his speech of Burnett.

Trump went on thank the American people for their prayers and encouragement.

“Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times,” Trump said. “All around America, I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength.”

Trump said five words have continued to touch his heart as he has traveled around the country.

Those words, “I am praying for you”– he said, “have been a constant source of strength” for him and are words that “never, ever fail to touch” his heart.

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Lorie JohnsonGeorge Thomas