updated 07/16/2007 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/16/2007 AT 2:00 PM ET
Does Donald Trump just want to tell Rosie O’Donnell, “You’re fired”?
It may explain his latest move: inviting the former View host – and his bitter rival – to appear on a celebrity edition of The Apprentice.
“If Rosie would like to do it, she would be treated very fairly,” Trump tells PEOPLE. “Don’t forget her show got the highest ratings in December and January when she and I went at it. So I think it would be very good for Rosie. And she would be treated very fairly.”
O’Donnell declined – with a vengeance.
“It will not happen in this lifetime or beyond,” says her rep Cindi Berger.
The invite was announced Monday. After telling reporters that NBC has renewed Trump’s reality show for mid-season, NBC-Universal co-chairman Ben Silverman said, “I think it would be great to have Rosie on The Apprentice. Donald personally asked me to extend an invite to her.”
Added co-chair Marc Graboff: “We would love to have Rosie on the celebrity edition of The Apprentice.”
While the cast for the show’s seventh season – and first-ever celebrity edition – has yet to be announced, viewers might be surprised to hear that the business mogul is courting the outspoken talk show host and blogger as a potential contestant.
For much of her stint on The View, O’Donnell and Trump engaged in heated verbal sparring matches after O’Donnell criticized the businessman when he announced he would not fire Miss USA Tara Conner.
During their “feud,” O’Donnell called out Trump on his business practices and financial history, while he repeatedly called her “fat” and “a loser.”
For the celebrity version of The Apprentice, contestants will be competing and raising money for charity.
NBC executives revealed that they also have been courting O’Donnell in other capacities – intimating they’ve had discussions about giving her a syndicated talk show – though they added they were sure she had been talking to other networks as well.
Reporting by MARK DAGOSTINO
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