President Donald Trump apparently did not expect to win the election when he announced his campaign for president in 2015, much less remain in the race for more than just a few months.
That’s according to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter. The publication recently spoke to a number of NBC insiders regarding Trump’s thinking at around that time.
According to those insiders, Trump had worried executives at NBC over his announced presidential run, in part because he was planning to do another season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Trump reportedly reached out to those executives in order to tell them that he’d be out of the race by September.
After his planned dropping out, he would be ready to film the next season of the reality TV series in January, he added.
But NBC cut ties with Trump shortly after his announcement, due to the racist language he used on day one of his campaign regarding U.S. immigration policy.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said at the event.
“They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.”
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump added.
Shortly after those remarks were made by candidate Trump, NBC announced it would not work with the business mogul again in the near future.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the company said in a statement. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
Trump’s comments, it should be noted, and his views (which have remained in place in the five years since he initially made them), are inaccurate. Immigration is not linked to higher rates of crime in the U.S., and indeed, some studies have found that immigration is associated with lower crime rates.
Trump believed the move by NBC in 2015 to dump him was a mistake, and continued his presidential campaign. Even so, according to those with knowledge of his thinking, he didn’t see why he couldn’t perform both duties, if he went on to win the presidency — hosting the next season of Celebrity Apprentice while also serving as commander-in-chief.
Although he’s said otherwise, in late 2019 it was reported that Trump missed his time on television. The president “sporadically kept in touch” with The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett, and had expressed wanting to launch a new reality TV show once he was out of the White House.
“There have been several discussions between Burnett and Trump about The Apprentice: White House,” a source said last fall. “It is something Burnett thinks could be a money-spinner and Trump is very keen on doing.”
Trump’s television prowess will be put to the test on Thursday night. That’s because both he and his election-year rival, Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden, have separate town hall events planned on different television networks at the exact same time.
Biden’s town hall is planned to air at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC, and will be emceed by host George Stephanopoulos.
Trump’s, meanwhile, will air on NBC — the same network that The Apprentice aired on — also at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, hosted by Savannah Guthrie.
Trump’s obsession with television ratings means he will likely pay attention to how much of an audience he and Biden garnered in the days after their respective town hall events take place, rather than worrying about his performance during the event.
Indeed, Trump’s obsession with TV ratings is well-noted — he even bragged about having good ratings during his press briefings he held during the early months of the coronavirus crisis.
But Trump’s penchant for bragging about ratings has at times been overly ambitious. In the first few weeks of his presidency, he pressed his aides to claim his inauguration had a larger crowd size than former President Barack Obama’s did, even though photographic evidence proved otherwise.
Trump also brags about opinion polls, but only when they appear to give him positive marks. He has consistently claimed that polls showing him losing to Biden or otherwise demonstrating that he has a low approval rating are fake.
Meanwhile, he has touted other polls — such as the conservative-leaning Rasmussen — as accurately portraying his true approval rating.