Apparently, Donald Trump intends to remain Executive Producer of his show Celebrity Apprentice while he’s the president. Pretty weird, right? Newt Gingrich agrees.
In an interview with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, Gingrich said, “He doesn’t need his name in print. Donald J. Trump is going to be the executive producer of a thing called the American government and he is going have this a huge TV show called leading the world. He ought to just relax, and give executive producer to Eric or Donald [Jr.] or Ivanka and keep moving forward.”
Without The Apprentice, it’s unlikely that Trump would have been able to boost his popularity to the level required to become president. So it’s maybe not a huge surprise that he wants to keep his hand on the show’s steering wheel. And considering the fact that he’s resisting divestment on many fronts, most notably his private holdings that will cause real conflicts of interest, the Apprentice issue is maybe not hugely important.
It is strange, though, that the president would have enough spare time and attention to produce a show.
Gingrich was heavily involved in the Trump campaign, and is known to have given him some tough love. According to Newt, the gravity of his responsibilities as president may have not “sunk in totally” yet.
“I think he is still going through some transition things here where it hasn’t quite sunk in totally. This is the hardest, biggest, secular job in the world. Only the Pope rivals it and the Pope has a kind of help that Trump can’t count on.”
So why is he insisting on holding onto the producer credit? Variety reports that Trump is still going to be pulling in a paycheck from the show.
Apprentice is now going to be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenneger, another celebrity Republican turned politician.
Trump’s behavior while making Apprentice was one of many articles of controversy during his presidential run. Reportedly, he was sexually aggressive towards female contestants and wouldn’t stop calling Lil’ Jon an “Uncle Tom,” despite Jon’s requests that he stop. So maybe it’s better that he stay involved from a distance. Hopefully a far, far distance.
If he stays onboard with Apprentice, it would be the first time in American history that a president has simultaneously been a television producer. The Trump presidency is breaking all kinds of ground in terms of where celebrity ends and political credentials begin.