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Trump and Schwarzenegger spar on Twitter over Apprentice ratings

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UPDATED: All those pesky president-elect duties must be really distracting Donald Trump because it has taken him several days to finally focus on something we know is important to him: The Celebrity Apprentice premiere ratings.

Trump sounded off on the NBC reality show’s Monday night return, which had Arnold Schwarzenegger taking over the boardroom, via a pair of early morning tweets. As we detailed Tuesday morning, The New Celebrity Apprentice lost nearly half its adults 18-49 demo rating compared to its previous edition two years ago. (Overall, the show dipped 44 percent from the 2015 debut when Trump was host.)

“Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT,” Trump wrote, referring to himself in the third person (“DJT”) and as a “ratings machine.” He added, “So much for…. being a movie star — and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.” (Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor of California, refused to endorse Trump’s candidacy last year. The actor declared he would not vote Republican in the presidential election for the first time since becoming a citizen and urged other members of the party to do the same.)

The Governator wasted little time in responding to Trump’s taunts, seizing the readily available high road and throwing down an Abraham Lincoln quote:

As for Trump’s assumption that the reason for the ratings drop is his absence as host? In this, we actually agree. In Tuesday’s ratings story, we somewhat controversially attributed the drop to Trump exiting the show, because, at the end of the day, people tend to watch or not watch a series based on what they’re going to see and pledges of viewing boycotts tend not to have much of an impact. But many believe that Trump retaining his executive producer credit is driving away viewers.

In any case, that producer credit — and his longstanding relationship with executive producer Mark Burnett — sure isn’t stopping Trump from mocking his show’s numbers.

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