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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Trump says Schwarzenegger was fired from ‘Apprentice’ and Schwarzenegger fires back

A line from President Trump’s speech last Tuesday to the joint session of Congress came back to haunt him on social media Saturday morning: “The time for trivial fights is behind us.”

Apparently, in Trump’s view, long-simmering feuds regarding his old reality show “The Apprentice” don’t qualify as trivial.

On Friday the show’s new host, Arnold Schwarzenegger, released a statement saying he would not return for a second season. “I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. 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.”

Schwarzenegger later explained that the “baggage” to which he was referring is Trump. “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 Empire magazine.

The tweeter in chief woke up early Saturday at his Florida estate to provide his own version of events. After a stream of tweets claiming that former President Barack Obama had tapped the phones at Trump Tower, the president weighed in on “The Apprentice”:

“Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show”

Naturally, the Terminator wasn’t going to let that stand. He fired his own shot across the bow:

“You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker.”

Of course, these salvos are just the latest in a lengthy back-and-forth between the two. At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, the president asked his audience to “pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.” Schwarzenegger quickly responded with a video suggesting they change places: “You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. And then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”

By midmorning Saturday, both men had moved on to other activities. Schwarzenegger was at a fitness expo. Trump headed to a golf course.

And sixth-graders everywhere rolled their eyes in exasperation.

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