Democrats outraged as Trump may keep ‘Apprentice’ credit

Democrats outraged as Trump may keep ‘Apprentice’ credit
President-elect Donald Trump may be giving up his salary, but he will reportedly be staying on as executive producer of reality show “Celebrity Apprentice.” While critics have denounced this as conflict of interest, Trump’s campaign chief compared it to golfing.

Trump will keep his executive producer credit on the show, the show business magazine Variety reported on Thursday. In the credit sequence, Trump’s name will be shown after the show’s creator Mark Burnett and before Arnold Schwarzenegger, the current celebrity host.

Having been a star of the show for seven seasons, Trump bowed out in February 2015, before launching his presidential bid in June.

“Were we so concerned about the hours and hours and hours spent on the golf course of the current president? I mean presidents have a right to do things in their spare time,” said Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, appearing on CNN’s ‘New Day’ on Friday.

“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,” Conway said, adding that work is Trump’s hobby.

“It’s a mystery to all of us when he even sleeps,” she said. “He’s just all high-energy.”

Update: On Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted that the CNN reports that he will be working on The Apprentice during his presidency, “even part time, are ridiculous & untrue.”

There is a precedent for presidents earning royalties while in office. In 2010, Barack Obama published a book called Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, and donated all profits to a charity for the children of disabled veterans, Variety noted. Trump has said he would donate his presidential salary to a charity, but has not clarified what he intends to do with “Apprentice” royalties.

READ MORE: Trump blasts CNN for ‘fake news’ over Celebrity Apprentice executive producer report

At the end of November, the president-elect said he would leave his business “in total” so he could fully focus on running the country. The official announcement is scheduled for December 15.

Trump may also follow standard television practice to continue giving credit to executive producers who created a successful TV even after their resignation or retirement.

That has not stopped a number of journalists, pundits a congressman and even the outgoing secretary of housing and urban development from reacting quite vocally to the news, however.