22:00 GMT04 June 2020
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    Arnold Schwarzenegger took over as host of NBC’ “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2016 after the company severed its business ties with Donald Trump due to his presidential campaign at the time.

    Speaking at a political rally on Friday night in Mississippi, President Donald Trump specifically expressed regret over the flop of his successful reality TV show shortly after US movie star and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger took the helm.

    “[…] I just did one show, it’s called “the Apprentice”, and it was a big success – 14 seasons - and when I left crazy Arnold took over, it didn’t do too well, it was dead. It was dead from the first episode. I saw him and I said ‘Oh, it’s terrible! What have they done to this beautiful show? Arnold!” Trump said.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives on bicycle to meet Paris mayor Anne Hdalgo, Monday Dec. 11, 2017 in Paris
    © AP Photo / Thibault Camus
    Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives on bicycle to meet Paris mayor Anne Hdalgo, Monday Dec. 11, 2017 in Paris

    The remarks echoed those made by the US President during the National Prayer Breakfast event show in 2017, when he recounted his “tremendous success on The Apprentice” before deciding to leave the show and run for president.  

    “They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It's been a total disaster”, Trump asserted.

    Schwarzenegger quickly responded by calling on Trump to “switch jobs” again and adding, “you take over TV because you're such an expert at ratings, and I take over your job and people can finally sleep comfortably again?”

    The showdown was followed by Trump going on Twitter in February 2017 to claim that Schwarzenegger “did a really bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice […] but at least he tried hard!”

    Shortly after, Schwarzenegger announced on Friday that he would not return for a second season of the NBC show, blaming Trump for low ratings and describing the US President’s involvement as “baggage”.

    Trump was quick to retaliate by tweeting about “sad end to great show”. He claimed that Schwarzenegger “isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice” because “he was fired for his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me”.


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