New York Times Reveals How ‘The Apprentice’ Saved Donald Trump From Financial Oblivion
It’s been well-documented how The Apprentice—the TV reality show that allowed Donald Trump to play a self-made, powerful billionaire in front of the nation—gave him a hard shove toward his eventual election victory in 2016. Now, in the second of its bombshell reports on the president’s tax records, The New York Times has revealed how the show saved Trump from financial oblivion. Months after the first episode aired in January 2004—in which Trump portrayed himself as a business genius—he filed an individual tax return reporting $89.9 million in net losses from the prior year. Later returns show that Trump then earned some $197 million directly from The Apprentice over 16 years, plus an additional $230 million from his renewed fame. However, that income went into a steep decline in 2011, tumbling from from $51 million in that year to $21 million by 2014, by which time he’d accrued hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.