Trump offers 'Apprentice' prayers, Schwarzenegger fires back

WPVI logo
Thursday, February 2, 2017

President Trump offered up a prayer to Arnold Schwarzenegger as he addressed the audience at this morning's National Prayer Breakfast.

"They hired a big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place, and we know how that turned out," Trump said at the top of his remarks.

He continued, "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."

Schwarzenegger, a former governor of California who earned fame for his action movie roles, was hired to replace Trump as host of "The Celebrity Apprentice." The president is still listed as executive producer of the show.

Schwarzenegger assailed Trump in a video posted to his social media accounts:

The event, which brings together politicians with members of the business and religious community, began in 1953 and is organized by The Fellowship Foundation and hosted by a committee of members of Congress.

Over 3,000 people attend the breakfast annually, according to The Fellowship Foundation.

In 2013, a then-relatively unknown Dr. Ben Carson -- currently awaiting Senate confirmation to be secretary of housing and urban development -- delivered a scathing critique of President Barack Obama's attempts at health care reform at the gathering. The appearance vaulted Carson to celebrity in conservative circles, eventually leading to his unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

The breakfast is not without controversy however, with some critics decrying the event's religious theme and fusion of church and state.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization promoting the secularity of government, released a statement in opposition to the function Wednesday, writing, "Instead of serving 'Americans of all backgrounds,' [the breakfast] further enshrines the place of worship and religion in our political setup, acting contrary to our godless Constitution."

Related Topics