US President Donald Trump put in an appearance at a social media summit at the White House on 11 July, on the heels of which a White House reporter quoted Trump as saying: “Arnold Schwarzenegger... You know what? He died... I was there,” reported the Independent.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger ... You know what? He died ... I was there.” - President Donald J. Trump — Arnold Schwarzenegger is, in fact, alive— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) July 11, 2019
White House correspondent Hunter Walker clarified in another tweet: “The president was talking about Apprentice ratings when he quipped that Schwarzenegger ‘died.’ Real life and death stuff.”
The president was talking about Apprentice ratings when he quipped that Schwarzenegger “died.” Real life and death stuff.— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) July 11, 2019
Actor-turned politician Schwarzenegger, 71, was swift to respond to the tweets and came out with his own jab, tweeting, “I’m still here. Want to compare tax returns, @realDonaldTrump ?”
Social media users also chimed in on the issue. One tweeted: “Didn’t Arnold take over a show that already had one foot in a grave and another on a banana peel? So, it was a mercy killing.”
Didn’t Arnold take over a show that already had one foot in a grave and another on a banana peel? So, it was a mercy killing.— Diana Figone, MD (@DFigoneMD) July 11, 2019
Your use of “...” kills your credibility. Pun intended— SB 🇺🇸 (@quiksilver122) July 11, 2019
Wait, Donald Trump murdered the Terminator?— Jhndrx (@jeffhndrx) July 11, 201
In a theatrical sense. But dems have to turn it into something else, of course— Cathy (@CathyKeever) July 12, 2019
Others argued the remark was implied “in a theatrical sense”.
Died in the theatrical sense.— Ken Cox 🍁 (@KenCox) July 11, 2019
probably important to include some context before this tweet takes off - he was talking about The Apprentice and Arnold’s version of the show not doing well.— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) July 11, 2019
There has been a long-running feud between the two celebrities-turned-politicians about the NBC reality series.
In 2015 NBC cancelled The Apprentice after Donald Trump had reportedly disparaged immigrants at the start of his presidential campaign.
In 2017 the former governor of California took over the reality show franchise in an attempt to relaunch it.
After filming just one season of the Apprentice, with ratings plummeting drastically, Schwarzenegger claimed the reboot failed due to continued association with Donald Trump.
Trump, however, lashed back claiming Schwarzenegger was simply bad at the job.
“Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a really bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice…but at least he tried hard!” he tweeted in 2017.
On both occasions Schwarzenegger returned fire by bringing up the issue of the president’s undisclosed tax returns.
Trump’s tax returns continue to be a hot topic of conversation since he failed to release them during the 2016 campaign trail.