- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Donald Trump could have been president two years ago — on the small screen, that is.

Ahead of the upcoming premiere of “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming,” a producer the Syfy network’s campy franchise told The Hollywood Reporter that Mr. Trump was offered the cameo in 2015’s “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” and initially accepted it.

“The Donald said yes,” producer David Latt told THR. “He was thrilled to be asked.”

But protracted silence from Mr. Trump’s lawyers in the following few weeks led producers to offer the role to billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

“We got pretty far,” casting director Gerald Webb told THR. “It was serious talks.” 

Eventually Mr. Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told producers that his client was actually seriously considering a real-life presidential run.

Donald’s thinking about making a legitimate run for the presidency, so we’ll get back to you,” Mr. Latt recalls Mr. Cohen as saying, according to THR. “This might not be the best time.” 

Running up on production deadlines, “Sharknado” producers had to scrap their offer to Mr. Trump, going instead with Mr. Cuban, a fellow reality TV alumnus and one of President Trump’s most vocal critics, THR reported.

Interestingly enough, producers’ top choice to play the role of president was none other than former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an early supporter of Mr. Trump’s White House bid. Conservative columnist and “In Trump We Trust” author Ann Coulter ended up playing the vice president in a cameo in the action flick.

“Sharknado 5” — which boasts Fabio and Charo in cameos as the Pope and Queen of England, respectively — will air Sunday on Syfy at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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