Donald Trump may announce press conference on presidential plans during reality show
Updated 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time
Donald Trump will* unveil the date and time for a press conference where he will make a formal announcement about his presidential plans during the finale of his reality show, a top Trump aide told CBS News.
The final episode of Trump's show, "The Celebrity Apprentice," which airs on NBC, is set for May 15th.
*UPDATE: Trump's organization is now somewhat walking back its claims. Michael D. Cohen, Trump's special counsel, said this in a just-released statement: "To clarify earlier reports, on the May 22nd Season Finale of Celebrity Apprentice, Mr. Trump may announce the time and place of a press conference at which time he will make a statement as to whether or not he will run for President of the United States." (bolding ours.)
Trump cannot discuss a presidential run while appearing on the show in part because it could violate equal time laws mandating that if one candidate is given time on a network, that network "shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station." If Trump were to talk up a presidential run on his show, NBC could potentially be required to give airtime to all other candidates to do the same. Trump's use of the show in service of a presidential run could also be seen as a de facto donation to the potential candidate on the part of the network.
Trump shot down erroneous reports that he would announce his presidential plans themselves on the reality show, the New York Observer reports, stating, "I can't announce during the show, I really can't."
A poll earlier this week showed Trump, who has been making the media rounds talking up a candidacy and becoming the most promiment member of the "birther" movement, tied for first among potential GOP presidential contenders with 19 percent support.
He has said he would "probably" run as an independent if he doesn't win the GOP nomination, though skeptics question whether his presidential flirtation is simply a publicity stunt.
In an interview with CNN Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped Trump would get the GOP nomination.
"Donald Trump running for president of the United States? I mean, I like the man just fine. But he's not presidential caliber," Reid said.
Trump plans to appear on Saturday in Boca Raton, Florida, with Rep. Allen West at a South Florida Tea Party Tax Rally.
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