Andy Cohen on meeting President Trump, getting along with the Housewives

Andy Cohen poses with his rescue dog, Wacha. 

Purina ONE

TV personality Andy Cohen is known for his reality empire on Bravo, which includes the "Real Housewives" franchise, and his irreverent talk show, "Watch What Happens Live." But when Cohen isn't delivering witty one-liners on TV, he's working with Purina to help educate children on rescue dogs.

Cohen talked to CBS News about his work with Purina ONE, his relationship with President Trump and his secret to getting along with the Housewives.

Tell me about your and your dog's partnership with Purina ONE.

"I have a rescue named Wacha, had him for three, three-and-a-half years and so this is a great partnership with Purina because they have a great plan going with the Muttigrees Program, where they bring rescue dogs into classrooms and they teach the kids about being with animals and (about the animals themselves and dogs that need rescuing.

"I've been in a couple of classrooms and brought Wacha in to read a story with some kids. It's a really cool program and I've put the dog on Purina's 28-Day Challenge, which is easy to sign up for, and basically everyone who signs up, Purina will give $10 to the Muttigree program."

Do you feel at home reading to kids?

"Oh yeah, totally. That was really fun, talking to them. They all want to learn about dogs, they want to pet the dog and talked about reading their signals and looking at pet behavior. There are over 3 million dogs that need to be rescued and these are potential future pet owners that we're talking to."

Do you have any interest in having your own kids?

"In kids? Yeah, I do. I'm kind of an old guy, but you never know."

Would you say you're close friends with some of the Housewives? You've known them for a long time now.

"I would say we all have a great working relationship that overlaps into friendships. This has now been since 2006, is when 'Orange County' premiered and so yeah, this has been going on a long time and we've seen a lot together, experienced a lot together and kind of come up together."

Sometimes during the reunion shows you really press the Housewives for answers and kind of tease them, but they all seem to like you, still. You have a lot of volatile people on there -- what's your secret to getting along with them?

"Well, first of all, I'm their boss. Even if they hate me, they have to pretend they like me and they know what to expect with me. They know what they signed up for. It's not a surprise. Ultimately, I'm rooting for all of them to succeed because if they succeed, the show succeeds and I succeed, so we all want it to work."

After all these years and different cities of "Housewives," what are the most surprising lessons you've learned?

"I think that one of the big lessons is, don't come on a reality show if you have something to hide, because it will catch up to you. The cameras catch everything, so be careful."

You've said before that President Trump and Kellyanne Conway are like characters on "Real Housewives." Have you met him before?

"Yeah, I've met Trump many times. I hosted beauty pageants for him, interviewed him. People in the country are kind of surprised by the ferocity of New Yorkers' opinions about Donald Trump and it's because he's really been around the city. There are so many New Yorkers with some connection to Donald Trump."

Did you like him before his presidency?

"Um, uh, really good question. Eh, not particularly."

Did anyone call you, upset about your book "Superficial"?

"No, I've done pretty well. I think maybe people have tried to extricate themselves from me and I don't realize it, but I've done OK so far. I've kind of stayed away from some people that I'm nervous about."

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

"I'm hosting 'Love Connection' on Fox this summer every Thursday night at 9. It's a great reboot of the classic game show and from the producers of 'The Bachelor' and 'American Idol.' I'm very excited about that and 'Andy Cohen: Then and Now' is coming back to Bravo on May 2 and it's a fun look back at pop culture and how things in the past affect where we are today. There's a lot of cool stuff about Trump and who he was then and how that's played into now."

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    Andrea is an entertainment producer at CBSNews.com