President-elect Donald Trump said he won’t spend any time working on the new version of the TV reality show he starred in before seeking office, although he will be paid and credited as an executive producer.

“I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it,” Trump tweeted to his 17 million followers on Saturday, referring to producer Mark Burnett. “Will devote ZERO TIME!”

A follow-up tweet said reports by CNN that Trump would be working on the show while president, even part time, “are ridiculous & untrue – FAKE NEWS!”

The arrangement, unusual for a sitting president, may subject Trump to criticism from watchdogs on the lookout for conflicts of interest between America’s first billionaire commander in chief and his far-flung business interests.

“Suppose the show gets poor ratings?” said Robert Stern, former general counsel for the California Fair Political Practices Commission. “Will NBC be reluctant to cancel the show since it does not want to offend the president, his Federal Communications Commission or other agencies that regulate the company?”

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the president-elect, didn’t respond to a question about his involvement on “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” saying only, “Additional details regarding Mr. Trump’s business interests will be provided on Dec. 15.”

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which owns the program, confirmed Trump’s credit on the NBC show, while declining to comment further.

Trump’s tweet came a day after his campaign manager and transition adviser, Kellyanne Conway, raised the possibility that Trump could work on the show in his “spare time,” comparing it to President Obama’s frequent weekend golf outings.

“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time, in their leisure time,” Conway said on CNN. “Work is his work and work is his hobby,” she said of Trump.


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