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Apprentice winner Bill Rancic: Trump knows how to build a brand

Bill Rancic, the winner of the first season of Donald Trump's reality television show "The Apprentice," offered some insights about the President-elect and praised his media savvy.

"He lifted me up. He gave me an opportunity that was absolutely spectacular and I think he's going to do the same for all of America," Rancic said on the sidelines of the Future Opportunities conference on entrepreneurship in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Rancic, who went on from the reality show to work for the Trump Organization, told CNBC's "Capital Connection" that Trump was an "incredible negotiator, he's probably one of the best negotiators on the planet."

Asked what was the best advice the property mogul, who will become the U.S. president in January, ever gave him, Rancic said, "I would tell you that one thing he values is hard work ... He's a hard worker. You saw him on that campaign trail. He was doing six, seven, eight, 10 stops a day. And I think he expects the same from the people that work with him and that he's going to surround himself with.

"That's something that I think everyone should cherish and value ... Certainly instilling a good work ethic is something that my wife and I believe in and we're going to do the same for our son," the entrepreneur added.

Bill Rancic
David Becker | Getty Images
Bill Rancic

Late Wednesday, Trump launched the latest of his Twitter volleys. This time, the president-elect attacked the union chief who had sharply criticized Trump's claims to have saved more than 1,000 jobs at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis.

When Rancic worked with Trump, the President-elect's preferred communication platform was not yet invented, but the restaurant-owner said Trump had long been an expert on messaging and branding.

"He's created some of the best pieces of real estate that we've seen and some of the greatest hotels. He knows how to brand. He knows obviously how to use the media and he does it very effectively. There's no question about it," Rancic told CNBC.

The first Apprentice, who is now a motivational and business speaker as well as a restaurant owner and real estate developer, said he used those lessons in building the brands of his own ventures.

"That's something I've been able to do with our restaurant group that we co-own with another family in Chicago, with the wine company that we have, with some of the other ventures that we have going on," he explained.

Clarification: This article has been updated following clarification from the conference organizers.

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