Trying to have the last word. Donald Trump slammed Arnold Schwarzenegger via Twitter on Saturday, March 4, claiming that the former bodybuilder was fired from his Celebrity Apprentice hosting gig for the reality series’ “pathetic” ratings.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me,” the 70-year-old real estate mogul tweeted shortly after ranting about being wiretapped by former President Barack Obama. “Sad end to great show.”
Schwarzenegger didn’t take long to respond to Trump’s diss. “You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker,” he tweeted shortly afterward.
On Friday, March 3, Schwarzenegger, 69, told Us Weekly in a statement that he has chosen to step down from his post as host of the show.
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett,” the Terminator star said in the statement. “Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
Though Schwarzenegger didn’t specify what the “baggage” was that he referred to in the statement, he did bring up Trump’s involvement as a negative factor for viewers in an interview with Empire.
“With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show,” he told the publication. “It’s a very divisive period now, and I think this show got caught up in all that division.”
Earlier this year, Trump sparked a Twitter feud between the two men when he blamed Schwarzenegger for the show’s low ratings. “Wow, the ratings are in, and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ’swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT,” he tweeted in January shortly after the new season kicked off, referring to himself in the third person.
Schwarzenegger didn’t mince words when he clapped back at the former Apprentice host in a cover story interview with Men’s Journal. Recalling what went through his mind after seeing POTUS’ inflammatory tweet, the action star told Men’s Journal that he told himself, “Don’t get into a stinking contest with a skunk.”
“I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour.’ I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting and go back to New York,’” Schwarzenegger continued before joking: “And then we just smash his face into the table.”
The former California governor added: “And then I think we can’t do that, either. I think I have to be above all of that and put him on the spot.”