Even as he’s faced with issues of nationally and globally reverberating importance, President Donald Trump is still obsessing over his public image. Intertwining it with the performance of his reality television show The Apprentice, Trump complained at a White House event this past week that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s time as host had led to a ratings decline, quipping that Schwarzenegger “died.” The action movie star turned Republican governor of California and continued activist is definitely not dead, and responded bluntly on Twitter by suggesting he even had the upper hand since he had publicly disclosed his tax information while Trump continues to break with decades of precedent and refuse to do so.
‘I’m still here. Want to compare tax returns,
Trump has claimed that the Internal Revenue Service’s supposed continued audit of his finances prevents him from being able to release his tax information, but they’ve made clear that audits do not include such a requirement. At present, Congressional Democrats have brought a lawsuit to try and compel the federal government to comply with their clearly legally allowed request to hand over Trump’s most recent tax returns. They’d like to see the documents to examine allegations of fraud against the president. Allegations have circulated of everything from money laundering to deceit of the government to get out of large amounts of taxes.
While these issues rage, Trump has trained his ire on Schwarzenegger in the past. In perhaps one of the most notable examples — there are quite a few — at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2017, Trump asked those in attendance to “pray for Arnold” over the poor ratings of the since cancelled show that he’d taken over as host, sharing of the host switch:
‘We know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It has been a disaster. I want to just pray for Arnold… for those ratings.’
Arnold responded directly at the time too, sharing in a video message posted to social media:
‘Hey Donald. I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, cause you’re such an expert in ratings. And I take over your job, so that people can finally sleep comfortably again.’
This time around, Schwarzenegger took the opportunity of Trump turning the spotlight on him yet again to segue into promoting his effort to cut down on gerrymandering, the process in which Congressional districts and more are drawn to give one political party an advantage.
Check out Twitter’s response…