President-elect Donald Trump insisted, via Twitter, early this morning that he will devote “zero time” – or, rather, “ZERO TIME!” – to NBC’s The New Celebrity Apprentice, but that he will retain “a big stake in it.” Hours later, Trump called CNN’s reports on the subject “ridiculous & untrue.”
Though Trump didn’t specify exactly which news reports he objected to, CNN had tweeted just after midnight, citing a source, that “Donald Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ deal may include money from brands.”
News this week surfaced that Trump will retain his executive producer credit on the new Arnold Schwarzenegger-hosted iteration of the show that premieres January 2 on NBC.
“Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are ridiculous & untrue – FAKE NEWS!,” Trump tweeted at 6:11 am today.
Earlier in the morning, at 3:27 am, Trump tweeted, “I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it. Will devote ZERO TIME!”
Meanwhile, in a front-page report in today’s New York Times, the newspaper cites a financial disclosure form filed by Trump “that the company he associates with ‘The Apprentice,’ Trump Productions, earned about $5.9 million from January 2015 to May 2016. As the host, Mr. Trump received appearance fees that he will no longer collect now that Mr. Schwarzenegger is the star.”
Here are today’s Trump tweets, following CNN’s.