Future Celebrity Apprentice host Arnold Schwarzenegger defended Donald Trump’s executive producer title and said he wants the President-elect to be a guest adviser.
“I think that I knew that from the beginning that he’s an executive producer on the show,” Schwarzenegger said of Trump during a press conference on Friday, US Weekly reports.
“It was on the credit when you watch the show, and I watched, I would say, probably 60 percent of all the shows before I took on this challenge [as host], so it’s no different than when I was running for governor and I became governor,” Schwarzenegger continued. “My credit starring in Terminator still said Schwarzenegger and everything stayed the same and I continued getting royalties and all that stuff.”
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed in a statement to Variety Thursday that the former reality TV star-turned-politician will retain his title as an executive producer of the NBC top-rated show he had hosted since 2004.
“Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett,” Hicks said, adding that additional details regarding his business interests will be shared December 15.
As for Trump’s exact role on the show, Schwarzenegger was clear that the President-elect cannot run the country and host a reality TV show — but he’s open to Trump appearing on the show if he has time.
“I don’t think that he is going to be cohosting with me, even though maybe it’d be fun to have him as a guest advisor or something like this if he has the time,” Schwarzenegger said. “I don’t know if he has time or not.”
Schwarzenegger also praised Trump for building a successful show.
“It was big shoes to fill because inevitably when you have a season that is going on for 15 times, 15 seasons, you have a great show,” he said of the Emmy-nominated show, adding:
You have a great concept, you have great performances, great stars and all this stuff, so he did a great job and that’s why I was attracted to the show and I watched the show myself. So now I am the new boss, I am the new host, and I hope that, you know, I can match up to what he has done and continue on with a great successful show.
When Celebrity Apprentice returns on January 2, audiences tuning in will reportedly see Trump’s name in the credits after executive producer Mark Burnett’s name and just before Schwarzenegger’s.
President-elect Trump will be paid an undisclosed fee per episode by MGM, which produces the top-rated program.