All work and no play? Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended the president-elect’s decision to retain his role as an executive producer on The Celebrity Apprentice during an interview on Friday, December 9, saying the Republican would work on the show in his free time.
“He’s a very transparent guy. Everyone can see what he’s doing, and the fact is that he is conferring with all types of experts who tell him what he can do and not do as president of the United States,” Conway, 49, told CNN. “If this is one of the approved activities, then perhaps he will consider staying on.”
Conway, who remains a senior advisor to Trump, added that there is no conflict of interest because “presidents have a right to do things in their spare time.”
“Were we so concerned about the hours and hours and hours spent on the golf course of the current president?” Conway asked, referring to President Obama. To this, New Day host Alisyn Camerota countered, “Will Trump not be playing golf for the next four years?” Trump owns multiple private golf courses throughout the world.
“Well, maybe he will be,” Conway replied. “It certainly seems like there is a lot of time to do [things] based on recent precedent while you’re president of the United States. But the point is the same. Whether it’s President Obama or President Donald Trump, the idea that these men are going to be all work and nothing else all the time is just unrealistic because it’s never happened in our lifetimes.”
On Thursday, it was reported by Variety that Trump will retain a producer credit on the new Celebrity Apprentice, which will be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger when it returns to the air in January after a two-year hiatus during the campaign. Trump’s role on the NBC hit series could be problematic because the network’s news and morning TV divisions cover his presidency. (The real estate mogul and NBC had a falling out in July 2015 after he made comments about Mexicans being “rapists” and “criminals”; his role as executive producer on the reality show would be paid through MGM, a production company.)
Though an exact number has not been given, if Trump remains in his role as executive producer, the billionaire, 70, would earn a per-episode fee in the “low five figures, at minimum,” according to Variety.
Earlier this week, The New York Times announced that Trump is also considering keeping a stake in his real estate business even though he is formally handing over operational duties to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. The president-elect’s team recently revealed that he sold all his stocks in June.
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