MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell explained Thursday that Donald Trump was hinting that he might run for president in a ploy to keep his job on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

"NBC will announce its primetime lineup for next season here in New York on Monday, May 16," the MSNBC host reported. "Trump obviously desperately needs the income from the only job -- the only paying job we know he has as a performer on NBC."

"Since attacking Bill Cosby, Trump's ratings have collapsed for his show. If the downward trend continues, sometime before May 16th, Bob Greenblatt, the head of NBC Entertainment, may have the exquisite pleasure of being the first person ever to say, 'Donald Trump, you're fired.'"

O'Donnell continued: "Which unfortunately for Trump will leave him with no excuse not to run for president, except the truth that he is an ignoreamus about government and could not afford to pay for a presidential campaign. His hope is to use NBC's renewal of his show as the reason why he cannot run for president and let down all of those people on his show who depend on him."

Watch this video from MSNBC's The Last Word, broadcast April 15, 2011.

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