Arnold Schwarzenegger believes that President Donald Trump is “in love” with him, given the president’s obsession with his reality television successor.
Schwarzenegger took over from Mr Trump in the hot seat of The Apprentice, but has announced that he is only doing one series. Mr Trump – who remains as executive producer of the reality show - took to Twitter this week to describe Schwarzenegger's ratings as “pathetic”.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me,” the president tweeted on Saturday. “Sad end to great show.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
On Tuesday Schwarzenegger said he thought the president was infatuated with him.
“Why do you think the president is fixated on you?” he was asked on a radio talk show. "Why does he keep talking about you through his Twitter feed?”
Schwarzenegger replied: “I think he’s in love with me.”
Laughing, he added: “Yeah, I think so. Oh yes.”
The former Republican governor of California was asked to elaborate, but declined.
He did, however, argue that that Republicans and Democrats should work together for the better of the nation.
“I believe very strongly in what [Dwight] Eisenhower said.
"That politics is like the road: The left and the right is like the gutter, and the center is drivable.
“And I believe that the action is in the centre, and I hope that the politicians wake up one day and just decide that they want to do the people’s work rather than the party’s work. Because the way it is right now, it doesn’t work, nothing is getting accomplished.”
Mr Trump launched the reality television series in 2004 and has since repeatedly mocked Schwarzenegger’s performance in his former role.
He said the show was tainted by Mr Trump’s policies, and he was happy to be leaving the series.
“Even if asked, I would decline,” Schwarzenegger told Empire magazine on March 3. "I learned a lot, I had a great time, it was a really great opportunity. But under the circumstances, I don’t want to do it again.
“With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or sponsor or in any other way support the show.
“It’s a very divisive period right now and I think the show got caught up in all that division.”