The presidency isn’t enough for Donald Trump.
While in the Oval Office, he’ll moonlight as an executive producer for Celebrity Apprentice, the NBC show he starred on for more than a decade.
It is not merely a ceremonial role. Trump will be paid at least five-figures per episode, Variety reports.
The arrangement is an unprecedented, ongoing financial entanglement between NBC, which also operates one of the nation’s leading news organizations, and a sitting president. Trump will be paid by MGM, which produces the show.
In June 2015, after Trump made bigoted remarks about immigrants, NBC publicly severed its financial relationship with him and said he would no longer be participating in The Apprentice.
“He would never be back on Celebrity Apprentice, as long as I’m here,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said.
That, apparently, is all in the past.
The unusual arrangement also raises questions about the role Mark Burnett, the creator of The Apprentice, played in bottling up footage that could have damaged Trump’s presidential campaign.
A source told BuzzFeed that Burnett “is pro-Trump and has made clear to his teams that he will sue anyone who leaks.”
Burnett’s conduct after the campaign suggests he was being less than candid. In addition to keeping Trump on as a paid executive producer, Burnett is also reportedly helping Trump plan his inaugural festivities.
According to the New York Times, Burnett suggested “a parade up Fifth Avenue, a helicopter ride to Washington from New York that could hold the attention of millions of people expected to watch from around the world.”
The Times described Burnett as one of Trump’s two “oldest friends.”
Asked about the arrangement spokesperson Hope Hicks said that Trump had “a big stake in the show.” Trump has previously described himself holding 50 percent ownership.
Trump’s decision to maintain a paid position with Celebrity Apprentice reflects his overall disregard for conflicts of interest that could impact his presidency.
Think Progress has the full story. It’s going to be short attention span government, won’t that be fun?