Evan Vucci / AP
Kellyanne Conway, the senior adviser to Donald Trump, on Friday defended the president-elect’s continued role of executive producer on NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice, arguing that presidents are allowed to pursue other interests and this is a reasonable thing for him to do in his “spare time.”
Trump hosted the show for seven seasons, until NBC cut ties with him in June 2015 after he made racist comments about Mexicans. Despite the controversy, many have argued that the show boosted Trump’s visibility and legitimized his shot at the presidency.
Conway called Trump a “very transparent guy” when CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked her why Trump would stay on with The Celebrity Apprentice.
“Everyone can see what he’s doing, and the fact is that he is conferring with all types of experts to tell him what he is allowed to do and not to do as the president of the United States, and if this is one of the approved activities, then perhaps he’ll consider staying on,” Conway added.
Camerota pressed on, saying that the time Trump spends working on The Celebrity Apprentice would be time he could not spend on national issues like jobs or national security.
“Were we so concerned about the hours and hours and hours spent on the golf course of the current president?” Conway asked.
“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time or their leisure time,” she said. “Nobody objects to that.”
When asked if Trump would collect any royalties or a salary from The Celebrity Apprentice, Conway said that she hadn’t discussed that with him directly, but that he had the option of donating it to charity or refusing it altogether.
The Trump campaign did not offer comment during Friday morning’s transition call on his remaining on the show.
Watch the full exchange here: