Reset your DVRs! You can make that Sunday night dinner with mom after all: Contrary to his own personally advanced hype, Donald Trump will not be making any kind of announcement about his presidential plans on the Celebrity Apprentice season finale.
The ratings-deflating news was delivered to National Journal on Tuesday by Sharon Pannozzo, publicity director for NBC Entertainment, who sounded a little miffed with The Donald’s false advertising.
“The show this weekend [part one of the finale] was taped back in November, and next week’s episode is also taped,” Pannozzo said. “So there will be no opportunity for him to do something like that.”
What? Didn’t Trump himself suggest to The New York Times that he’d be delivering the news—or at least news of when and where he’d deliver the news—of his presidential plans on the show?
“I am thinking of saying on the live finale of The Apprentice on May 22 that in a few days I will be making an announcement about my decision,” Trump told the Times. ”I might ask the two finalists if I should run for president. Of course, if they’re intelligent they’ll have to say yes, since I’m about to fire one of them.”
Not exactly, according to the show’s publicist. “There will be no announcement,” Pannozzo said. “It’s just misinformation on his part.” Pannozzo insists there will be no live segments of the show. Asked about Pannozzo’s comments, Trump spokesman Michael Cohen confirmed to National Journal: “Mr. Trump will not be making any announcement during the finale of The Apprentice.”
This will definitely come as a major disappointment to Trump watchers: Newsmax was the first to report last month that Trump “plans to say on the NBC show that he will be holding a press conference in the next few days … [where] he will be announcing whether he will run for the presidency.” Cohen confirmed that news to National Journal, just before Trump himself teased the prospect to the Times.
But the final episodes of Celebrity Apprentice were pre-taped in the fall—before any serious buzz developed about a Trump candidacy and definitely before Trump began hinting at an announcement on the show’s finale.
So was the whole thing just an enormous publicity stunt?
Cohen was still trying to whet media interest on Tuesday. “It’s not inconceivable that he will make an announcement either before or after the finale, which we would clearly let you know about,” he said.
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