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Donald Trump & ‘The Apprentice’ Creator Mark Burnett Talk Inauguration Plans

Deadline logo Deadline 12/8/2016 Erik Pedersen
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You’re hired! Donald Trump is working with his former The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett on planning a new reality show: the 2017 presidential inauguration.

The New York Times reports that the former colleagues met at Trump Tower yesterday and tossed around ideas for the January 20 shindig in D.C. and the events leading up to it. The president-elect offered some details of their chat during a Manhattan fundraiser last night. Among Burnett’s big ideas: a Fifth Avenue parade followed by a chopper trip to Washington.

But the Times says that’s just boardroom talk, citing sources who are saying the inauguration would be more subdued and similar to past ceremonies. It quoted big-bucks financier Thomas Barrack Jr, another old friend of Trump’s who was at the meeting with him and Burnett, as saying: “The president-elect wants this to be simple. He wants this to be about the people. It’s not about putting on the most expensive talent and spending that kind of money to ingratiate himself.”

Barrack also said Burnett is actively involved in producing the inauguration week celebrations, working with a staff of 300 or more. “Mark is a genius, and the president-elect loves him,” the Colony Capital chief told the Times. (That’s Burnett and Trump in a 2006 photo above.) “This [meeting] was about throwing stuff out if you are thinking in the frame of mind of what a global audience would see.”

And said meeting is another example of the short-term memory bug that’s going around regarding Trump; call it Romneyitis. It was less than two months ago that Burnett issued a statement about his longtime pal, saying: “I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am not ‘pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”

Well, a lot has changed in eight weeks — including, soon, the name on the mailbox outside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


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