President Donald Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, and mocked Arnold Schwarzenegger by asking the attendees to pray that his The Celebrity Apprentice ratings go up.
According to CNN,Trump was introduced at the National Prayer Breakfast by Mark Burnett, the television producer who created the Celebrity Apprentice alongside Trump, who remains one of the executive producers of the NBC show. When Trump left the show in 2015 to pursue the presidential election, he was replaced by actor, and former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
— TIME (@TIME) February 2, 2017
“When I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it [running for president],” Trump said. “And 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. And Mark [Burnett] will never, ever bet against Trump again, and I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings. But we’ve had an amazing life together the last 14, 15 years. An outstanding man. Thank you for introducing me.”
Daniel Ketchell, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, later responded to Trump’s comments, saying Arnold was praying that Donald improves his own ratings.
“Arnold is praying that President Trump can start improving his own approval ratings, which were the worst in history for an incoming president, by taking his job seriously and working inclusively,” Ketchell told ABC News.
Schwarzenegger also responded to the President through a video message, via Twitter.
The National Prayer Breakfast? pic.twitter.com/KYUqEZbJIE
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 2, 2017
“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,” he said.
The Celebrity Apprenticeratings have been lower than normal. On Monday, the show delivered 3.7 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults aged 18-49, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The National Prayer Breakfast was first assembled in 1953 and has been held on the first Thursday of February every year since. The event brings lawmakers and religious leaders from about 70 countries together to meet, pray and build relationships. The event is organized by the Fellowship Foundation and is hosted by a committee of members of Congress. Typically, more than 3,000 people attend the breakfast each year.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 2, 2017
Barry Black, the chaplain of the United States Senate, was appointed by President Donald Trump as the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast this year. Trump was very impressed with his speech and said he was appointing him for another year.
“Thank you as well to senator chaplain Barry Black for his moving words,” Trump said. “I don’t know, chaplain, whether that’s an appointed position? Is that an appointed position? I don’t know if you’re Democrat or Republican, but I’m appointing you for another year. The hell with it.”
Senate Chaplain Barry Black delivers riveting, uplifting keynote address at packed National Prayer Breakfast. pic.twitter.com/bsMgWmEvNI
— Kellyanne Conway (@KeIlyannePolIs) February 2, 2017
Trump also spoke about religious liberty, and vowed to “destroy the Johnson amendment.”
“Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but freedom is a gift from God. It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said, ‘The god who gave us life, gave us liberty,’” he said. “Jefferson asked, ‘Can the liberties of a nation be secured when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of god?’ Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that.”
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]