In a surprising revelation from Ramin Setoodeh's forthcoming book, "Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass," former President Donald Trump has disclosed that he had wanted his daughter Ivanka Trump to take over his role on the hit NBC reality show "The Apprentice" when he left to pursue his political ambitions in 2015.

"I said, 'The best person to hire would be Ivanka Trump,'" Donald Trump told Setoodeh. "I didn't press it. But I felt Ivanka would have been by far the best person you could hire." However, the network had reservations about the idea, with Trump noting, "NBC didn't like it, because it became like a family thing. But I said, 'There's nobody you're going to hire that will come even close to Ivanka.' They said, 'Huh...' And then they came back with Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Schwarzenegger ultimately took the reins of the show in 2017 with "The New Celebrity Apprentice," but the reboot failed to capture the same magic as its predecessor and was canceled after just one season due to disappointing ratings.

Eric Trump, Donald Trump's second son, shed further light on his father's vision for the show's future, revealing that the plan was for all three of the eldest Trump children to be involved. "It was going to be the three of us," Eric told Setoodeh, referring to himself, Ivanka, and their brother Donald Trump Jr. "There were talks for a little while about it."

Despite the unfulfilled dream of an Ivanka-led "Apprentice," Eric Trump believes that everything worked out for the best, as the siblings joined their father on the campaign trail and later in the White House. "I think it's pretty hard to say we're going to run with reality TV in a time when you're talking about ending nuclear proliferation around the world," he mused. "I'm not sure the two could have worked in tandem."

Setoodeh's book, which is based on unprecedented access and hours of interviews with Donald Trump, his original boardroom advisers George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher, NBC executives, and dozens of former contestants, promises to provide an in-depth look at how Trump's decade playing an all-knowing mogul on TV shaped his image as a politician and ultimately propelled him to the presidency.

"The Apprentice," which premiered in January 2004, quickly became a cultural phenomenon, attracting over 20 million viewers per episode in its first season and establishing Trump as a savvy businessman in the eyes of the American public. The show eventually added more star power with "The Celebrity Apprentice," featuring contestants ranging from Joan Rivers to Piers Morgan competing for Trump's approval in tasks for charity.

Trump starred in 14 seasons of "The Apprentice" and its spinoff before exiting reality TV to pursue his political career. However, his departure from the show and subsequent derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants in July 2015 led NBC to cut ties with him, ultimately thwarting his plans for an Ivanka-led continuation of the series.

Since leaving the White House, Ivanka Trump has reportedly distanced herself from politics, with an insider claiming she is "very happy, living her best life" and has no desire to be involved in her father's 2024 presidential campaign. "She told him when he said he was going to run again that she didn't want to be involved," the source revealed.

"Apprentice in Wonderland," set to be published on June 18 by HarperCollins, offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the discussions and aspirations surrounding one of the most influential reality shows of the early 21st century and its impact on the political landscape of the United States.