President-elect Donald Trump will remain an executive producer on his former reality show The Apprentice when the latest incarnation returns to the air in the New Year. In an interview with TIME, Trump boasted that he had selected Arnold Schwarzenegger as his replacement and that he maintained a significant financial stake in the program. Trump still hasn’t detailed how he intends to mitigate the mounting conflicts of interest facing his future administration, promising a fuller account on Dec. 15, but every indication is that he will maintain a financial stake in his company, even if on paper he’s not running it every day. That would still expose him to very serious questions about potentially enriching himself while president—which while likely not illegal, is certainly bad optics.
The final tally is in, and Trump and his allies spent about half of what Hillary Clinton and her allies did during the entire 2016 cycle. Trump’s more bare-bones effort invested massively online and left grassroots field organizing to the Republican National Committee. Clinton’s behemoth of an operation was by far more technically proficient, but ultimately suffered because of the candidate.
Trump sticks with “Make America Great Again” as his inaugural theme. Obama orders a review of Russia’s role in hacks surrounding the 2016 election. And Clinton warns against fake news.
Here are your must reads:
They may be smart, but are they right for top civilian posts, TIME’s Mark Thompson writes
Final fundraising and spending totals show leaner campaign won [Associated Press]
But the decision process remains fluid, some transition officials caution [Politico]
“Make America Great Again” will be Inaugural theme [ABC]
And he’ll get paid [Variety]
The opacity of his holdings makes it impossible to gauge the full extent of potential conflicts he may face as president [Wall Street Journal]
He boasted about his involvement to TIME
President-elect Trump denies any ties [CNN]
“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time.” —Kellyanne Conway to CNN on reports that President-elect Trump is keeping his Executive Producer title on The Apprentice.
“I want people that made a fortune. Because now they are negotiating with you, okay? It’s no different than a great baseball player or a great golfer.” —President-elect Trump in Iowa on the billionaires he’s hiring for his administration.
Bits and Bites
Donald Trump Meets With Ohio State Victims [Associated Press]
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter Makes a Surprise Visit to Afghanistan [Associated Press]