Politics

Michael Moore: Donald Trump only ran for president to get a better contract for ‘The Apprentice’

In a column for Alternet, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore claims that there’s a rationale behind Donald Trump’s bizarre statements and self-sabotaging rhetoric – because he’s trying to lose the election.

According to Moore, Trump never wanted the job anyway and initially was only using his candidacy to angle for a better contract for his reality TV show, The Apprentice.

“Donald Trump never wanted to be president of the United States,” Moore starts out in his piece. “I know this for a fact. I’m not going to say how I know it. I’m not saying that Trump and I shared the same agent or lawyer or stylist or, if we did, that that would have anything to do with anything. And I’m certainly not saying that I ever overheard anything at those agencies or in the hallways of NBC or anywhere else. But there are certain people reading this right now, they know who they are, and they know that every word in the following paragraphs actually happened.”

It was a vague clarification, but Moore is clearly suggesting that he has access to some sort of inside info.

“Trump was unhappy with his deal as host and star of his hit NBC show, ‘The Apprentice’ (and ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’),” Moore said. “Simply put, he wanted more money. He had floated the idea before of possibly running for president in the hopes that the attention from that would make his negotiating position stronger.”

Moore claims that Trump was threatening to move his show to another network, and in order to gain leverage against the networks, he played his “Big Card.”

“Of course he wouldn’t really have to run for president—just make the announcement, hold a few mega-rallies that would be packed with tens of thousands of fans, and wait for the first opinion polls to come in showing him—what else?—in first place! Then he would get whatever deal he wanted, worth millions more than what he was currently being paid,” Moore wrote.

“So, on June 16 of last year, he rode down his golden escalator and opened his mouth. With no campaign staff, no 50-state campaign infrastructure—neither of which he needed because, remember, this wasn’t going to be a real campaign—and with no prepared script, he went off the rails at his kick-off press conference, calling Mexicans “rapists” and “drug dealers” and pledging to build a wall to keep them all out. Jaws in the room were agape. His comments were so offensive, NBC, far from offering him a bigger paycheck, immediately fired him with this terse statement: “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.” NBC said it was also canceling the beauty pageants owned by Trump, Miss USA and Miss Universe. BOOM.”

Caught off guard by his firing, Trump decided to press on with his presidential bid.

Moore writes:

“And then something happened. And to be honest, if it happened to you, you might have reacted the same way. Trump, to his own surprise, ignited the country, especially among people who were the opposite of billionaires. He went straight to #1 in the polls of Republican voters. Up to 30,000 boisterous supporters started showing up to his rallies. TV ate it up.”

According to Moore, when Trump won the New Jersey primary, he realized that he was slightly in over his head.

“By this past weekend, the look on his face said it all — ‘I hate this! I want my show back!’” Moore wrote, referring the GOP’s latest series of gaffes and missteps. “But it was too late. He was damaged goods, his brand beyond repair, a worldwide laughing stock—and worse, a soon-to-be loser.”

Read Moore’s full column at Alternet here.

Featured image: David Shankbone (Flickr)

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