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Does Donald Trump ‘Apprentice’ Presidential Hype Violate Law?

Donald Trump skirted legal and ethical lines by hyping his presidential aspirations on his television show. (Photo: Trump)

Donald Trump skirted legal and ethical lines by hyping his presidential aspirations on his television show. (Photo: Trump)

Robert De Niro had a “You talkin’ to me?” moment with Donald Trump over the weekend, while Trump may have crossed a legal and ethical line by hyping his presidential bid on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The “Taxi Driver” star lashed out the presidential hopeful over his outrageous re-dredging of claims about President Obama’s birthplace.

Although the dispute has long been settled, Trump has been launching fiery tirades against the president as a prelude to a possible run for President in 2012.

Trump also shamelessly plugged his campaign on the most recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice,” raising questions about possible federal campaign law violations for himself and NBC, which airs his show.

If Trump is truly running for president, NBC should pull the plug immediately, or give equal airtime to other candidates.

On the show, Trump asked each contestant if they thought he should run for president, and said he would fire anyone who said no, because his campaign “is such a good idea.”

They all said “yes,” of course.

Trump also shamelessly promoted his hotel holdings by building the episode around a contest to come up with a marketing campaign for his luxury properties.

Trump’s birther charges have elevated his position in the Republican party but drawn scorn from other quarters, especially among entertainers.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld canceled an appearance at a charity fundraiser hosted by Trump’s son, citing the unsavoriness of The Donald’s charges.

De Niro, a political activist who supported Obama in 2008, brought up Trump’s remarks during a Q&A session with NBC News anchor Brian Williams at the Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend.

“I won’t mention names, but certain people in the news the last couple weeks, just, what are they doing?” he said.

“It’s crazy. They’re making statements about people that they don’t even back up. Go get the facts before you start saying things about people,” he added, according to AOL’s Moviefone.

“It’s like a big hustle. It’s like being a car salesman. Don’t go out there and say things unless you can back them up. How dare you? That’s awful to do,” he continued.

“To just go out and speak and say these terrible things? Unless you just wanna get over and get the job. It’s crazy.”

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