The Hollywood Reporter confirmed with the show’s transition team — as new host Arnold Schwarzenegger readies himself to take over Trump’s on-camera role — that Trump will stay on as executive producer.
The president-elect, who’s taking office on Jan. 20, 2017, will be paid as a “profit participant” in the franchise.
“Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett,” said transition spokeswoman Hope Hicks to THR. “Additional details regarding his business interests will be shared December 15.”
At the end of November, Trump said he’d be leaving his businesses to avoid any conflict of interest.
“I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 30. “While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”
Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2016
Trump was short on details about how he planned to detach himself from his businesses, and said more information would be provided on Dec. 15 at a “major news conference.” As indicated by Hicks, apparently the Celebrity Apprentice involvement will be addressed at that time as well.
Trump’s time in the boardroom and on camera is over, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t generate money from a franchise he helped establish; NBC has confirmed that it will not be paying him the per-episode fee they used to, but didn’t specify how he’d be compensated.
In the credit sequence, Trump’s name will appear after Celebrity Apprentice creator Mark Burnett and before Schwarzenegger (who’s also an executive producer).
Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to Trump, defended his continued attachment to the reality show on Friday. Calling him a “very transparent guy,” she said Trump will do any Celebrity Apprentice work in his “spare time.”
“Everyone can see what he’s doing, and the fact is he’s with all types of experts who tell him what he can do and not do as President of the United States. If this is one of the approved activities, then he will consider staying on,” said Conway. “[Are we] so concerned about the hours and hours and hours spent on the golf course of the current president?”
“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time or their leisure time,” she concluded. “Nobody objects to that.”
The new Schwarzenegger-helmed Celebrity Apprentice starts up on Jan. 2, 2017 on Global TV in Canada.