Trump To Make 2012 Announcement On 'The Apprentice' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trump To Make 2012 Announcement On 'The Apprentice'

YAHOO.COM - Ever since Donald Trump began soaking up media attention around his possible 2012 presidential run, he's faced plenty of detractors claiming that he's simply using all the 2012 speculation to shore up his celebrity brand.

The latest turn in the Trump political saga isn't exactly going to silence that line of criticism.

The real estate mogul has chosen the season finale of his NBC reality show, "The Apprentice" as the venue for announcing his presidential decision, Newsmax reported late Wednesday. The show is set to air May 15. Newsmax reports that Trump will announce plans to hold a press conference to announce his candidacy in the Trump Tower in New York "a few days after" the finale.

Trump had previously stated he would wait until June to make a final decision about a presidential campaign.

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler defended Trump from charges of cynical media manipulation. Kessler noted Thursday that even after Trump announces his campaign, he'll still be accused of staging a campaign for publicity. "But that defies the facts and common sense," Kessler wrote. "Of all the people on the planet, Donald Trump is the last person who needs more publicity. And if he is riding a groundswell of support, why would he—or anyone else—decide not to run?"

But Trump has a famously insatiable appetite for publicity. He's leveraged his business renown into a series of books, and merchandised a host of products under the Trump name, ranging from water to chocolate to wine. Oh, and yes--he is also the star of his own reality TV franchise; something that the slew of news reports about his prospective announcement plans are certain to mention (as this one just has).

And meanwhile, Trump's fortune--the basis for most of his celebrity empire--is still a mystery, with various reports unable to confirm his actual net worth.

This past Monday, Trump yet again slapped down the suggestion this is all a stunt. "I don't need to do this for ratings on 'The Apprentice,'" he told the Wall Street Journal. "This is too important. Our country is in trouble. Our country is not being properly led. It needs help."

Trump began his potential campaign courting conservative Republicans. This week, he revealed he is open to running as an independent if he fails to win the GOP nomination.

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