How much does Donald Trump make from the Apprentice TV Show?
Not that much at all!
Granted there may be a conflict of interest with the Trump being the Executive Producer and still earning from the Apprentice but the money is just not enough to make anyone that has his kind of cash really care. He states he is a billionaire, and he probably is, but a large portion of his assets is not dollars but real estate and business equities. But I’m sure he has a bunch of cash and a decent cash flow as well.
The Apprentice TV show is not going to make any difference in his portfolio because he makes low 5 figures from the show. That is hardly going to change his lifestyle and not enough, in my opinion, to cause him to sell out to someone as some kind of political favor.
Making that small amount from the Apprentice does not put Trump in that precarious a position but there are other aspects to consider with him as the Executive Producer of that TV show.
Product placement can come into play here and that could be a doorway for corruption on a bunch of different levels. Let’s explore that.
Mr. Trump is going to be extremely busy as the Commander-In-Chief of the military, as the leader of the free world, as the President of the United States the next 4 years. Initially he will need to learn how the system works as well as how to do the job of a President. He’s had important positions in his life but this overshadow all of those and then some. This is not a building that he is constructing that has a standard balance sheet with costs and profits on different sides of the ledger. The presidency is not about pulling permits and pouring concrete. The moving parts are limitless and he’ll be working his backside off to just be able to handle all that.
That will leave the Apprentice and all his other projects to someone else and there is where a breakdown can occur.
Company A wants to be featured on the Apprentice as it could use the exposure on the hour long NBC TV show and calls up those that are responsible to put the show together. Turns out that the show never considered them as there have been no discussions in the past. Company A sets a meeting up and offers to pay X amount of dollars to be on the show to The Apprentice as well as offers to donate X amount of dollars to support Candidate B who Trump wants to see in office.
Perfectly legal offer, right?
It may be on the line but it is a legal and legitimate offer except that there is a hint of cronyism in the offer and it could lead to companies offering all kinds of crazy “donations” to get featured on the Apprentice.
Maybe they would not be the main event in a show though. Lets say Company A is the main event for the show but they need to use a caterer for the contestants on the show. Bingo, up pops soft drink company C to get in the mix and they offer to pay X amount of dollars to be the soft drink with the caterer and also offer to make a donation to the Trump Library fund. Perfectly legal again but man can this be a huge can of worms as the person that is doing the negotiating for The Apprentice has toes to Trump in one way, shape or form and of course wants him to do well.
That puts the person who is representing The Apprentice in a bad spot as he is now looking at various offers that are fine but probably unethical yet the extra money donated to Candidates, Library funds or other political causes that will help Trump achieve his goals as president. Putting that person in a position like that makes the money that Trump earns from the Apprentice a non issue as the little money he makes is nothing compared to the dollars that could be donated to causes which he supports.
Will that sort of thing happen?
Who knows but it is reality in a lot of other areas.
What can Trump do to eliminate any level of suspicion yet still earn from the Apprentice?
He could sell his interest in the show before he takes office. Not going to happen as he likes the fame too much.
He could take 1.00 in salary for his part in the Apprentice. That still leaves room open for the political donations so that won’t do it.
He could require that all offers are double checked by a disinterested third party to ensure no hanky-panky. Now that would work if the third party was not beholden to him, appointed by him or tied to anyone that is tied to him. In fact it would be best if the person was appointed by someone who opposes Trump so that the checks and balances would be as above board as possible.
Let Trump earn from the Apprentice but do it in a way that would be 100% above board.