Jake Tapper: Trump’s NBC ‘Apprentice’ Deal Is ‘an Inherent Conflict of Interest’

“I don’t know how you have any sort of professional, business relationship with the President of the United States while your news division is attempting to cover the person,” CNN host tells TheWrap

Last Updated: January 24, 2017 @ 3:51 PM

CNN’s Jake Tapper says Donald Trump’s decision to remain the executive producer of “The Apprentice” during his presidency creates what seems like “an inherent conflict of interest” for NBC.

In wide-ranging interview with TheWrap, the host of “The Lead” said he had a tough time wrapping his mind around NBC’s decision to continue its business relationship with Trump now that he’s president.

“I don’t know how you have any sort of professional, business relationship with the president of the United States while your news division is attempting to cover the person,” Tapper said.

While Tapper made it clear that he was not familiar with the specifics of the deal, he questioned the network’s decision.

“I have no idea how it works,” Tapper said. “Maybe it’s just his name on a credit and he has nothing to do with it, I don’t have the details. But it certainly would not make me comfortable.”

The new “Celebrity Apprentice” debuted on Jan. 2 with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as its new host.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed at the time that Trump will maintain a financial interest in the show.

“If there’s any sort of situation where he has leverage, where POTUS has any sort of fiscal leverage over a media company, that seems like an inherent conflict of interest,” Tapper said.

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who was recently named White House advisor, told CNN in December that “presidents have a right to do things in their spare time.”

Tapper also talked to TheWrap about CNN’s role in Trump’s rise. You can read the full interview here.