Trump Goes After Arnold Schwarzenegger Over 'Apprentice' Performance

Arnold and Patrick Knapp Schwartzenegger Apprentice_Publicity - H 2016
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Arnold and Patrick Knapp Schwartzenegger Apprentice_Publicity - H 2016

The president-elect compared the new host of 'Celebrity Apprentice' to himself, a self-proclaimed "ratings machine." And Schwarzenegger quickly replied.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is no match for the "ratings machine" of Donald Trump, according to Donald Trump.

Schwarzenegger took over hosting duties from Trump when The New Celebrity Apprentice premiered Monday night. The ratings for the first-ever episode of the NBC reality franchise to not be hosted by Trump were down 35 percent compared to the show's premiere in 2015.

Though the president-elect remains involved in the series, retaining his credit as an executive producer and being paid as a profit participant on the MGM- and Mark Burnett-produced franchise, he took to Twitter early Friday morning to gloat at the drop in viewership, placing blame on the actor-politician.

The "drain the swamp"-pledging president-elect said Schwarzenegger got "swamped" — which he defined as "destroyed" — and referred to himself in the third-person, claiming to be a "ratings machine."

Trump then added, "So much for being a movie star" and took a swipe at the actor's support for two of Trump's former opponents, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Hillary Clinton.

"And that was season 1 compared to season 14," he tweeted of The New Celebrity Apprentice. "Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary."

Schwarzenegger, who replaced Trump's "You're fired" catchphrase with his own ("You're terminated. Get to the chopper"), revealed ahead of the Nov. 8 election that he wouldn't be voting for the Republican candidate for the first time since he joined the party.

Trump's most recent Apprentice season averaged an impressive 2.4 rating among adults 18-to-49 and 7.6 million viewers. The New Celebrity Apprentice averaged just a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers. The show remains NBC's longest-running reality franchise. NBC did not immediately respond to THR's request for comment on Trump's tweets.

The Terminator star did, however, reply promptly to Trump's Twitter bash, opting to take the high road.

"There's nothing more important than the people's work," Schwarzenegger tweeted in response to Trump's first tweet. He then posted, "I wish you the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings."

He then re-shared a video he posted one day after the election in which he talks about an inspiring quote from President Abraham Lincoln's inauguration. "Please study this quote from Lincoln's inaugural, @realDonaldTrump. It inspired me every day I was Governor, and I hope it inspires you," he tweeted with the video.

Trump's posts came during a Thursday tweetstorm where the president-elect also took shots at NBC, the network home to Apprentice; the DNC; the intelligence surrounding the election hacking (again); the "dishonest media"; and his former opponent Clinton, claiming her campaign canceled their planned election-night fireworks because "they knew they were in big trouble."

He then tweeted one message of hope regarding his upcoming inauguration. "Hopefully, all supporters, and those who want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will go to D.C. on January 20th. It will be a GREAT SHOW!" he said.

Jan. 6, 10:15 a.m. ET: Updated with Schwarzenegger tweets.