Maybe Ivanka Trump wouldn’t have lost friends if she replaced dad on ‘The Apprentice’

Call it one of Ivanka Trump’s “sliding doors” moments.

Before her father, Donald Trump, officially exited his hit reality TV show “The Apprentice” to run for president in 2015, he pushed NBC to hire her to replace him as the show’s star, according to a new Variety report.

“I said, ‘The best person to hire would be Ivanka,’” the former president said, according to a new book, “Apprentice in Wonderland,” as Variety reported. “I said, ‘There’s nobody you’re going to hire that will come even close to Ivanka.’”

The book, written by Ramin Setoodeh, looks at Trump’s decade starring on the competitive job-search show, playing a version of himself who is a savvy businessman and who dismissed failed contestants with his catchphrase, “You’re fired!” Ivanka often appeared on the show as one of her father’s “boardroom advisers.”

With Trump urging NBC to make Ivanka the new star of “The Apprentice,” she may wonder about the course her life could have taken if she went on the show, instead of joining her father on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016.

It’s been widely reported that the once-popular fashion model, designer and business executive lost friends and her perch atop New York City’s liberal high-society when she campaigned for her father. On the 2016 campaign trail, the celebrity real estate developer said derogatory things about Mexican immigrants, was accused of authoritarian impulses and became embroiled in the “Access Hollywood” controversy weeks before the election.

Ivanka Trump’s reputation suffered more after her father was elected. She joined his White House and refused to speak out on some of his more controversial statements and policies, including his false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. As a senior presidential adviser, Ivanka Trump regularly faced accusations of being entitled, corrupt, self-serving and “complicit.” When Trump lost the election in 2020 — and Ivanka lost her White House job – she reportedly realized that she and her husband Jared Kushner would be shunned by old friends if they returned to New York, according to Vanity Fair. They ended up moving to Miami with their three children.

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Variety also reported that Trump’s two oldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, were in talks to co-star in an Ivanka-led “The Apprentice.” In an interview for “Apprentice in Wonderland,” Eric Trump told the author, “It was going to be the three of us. They were talks for a little while about it.”

But Trump also told the book’s author that NBC didn’t like how the show was turning into “a family thing,” Variety reported. So, it’s not known whether NBC would have gone along with Trump’s idea that his daughter had enough star power on her own to replace him.

In the end, Ivanka Trump lost out on any possibility of starring on her own TV show. The Trump family’s relationship with “The Apprentice” ended when NBC cut ties with her father after he launched his presidential campaign with a speech that called Mexican immigrants “rapists” who bring “drugs” and “crime.”

In 2017, NBC revived “The Apprentice” franchise with “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” starring action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The show premiered in January 2017, before Trump’s inauguration, but was canceled after one season due to low ratings.

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