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Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to ‘smash’ Donald Trump’s face into a table

Arnold Schwarzenegger visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on January 30, 2017. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

There’s no love lost between U.S. President Donald Trump and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Over the past month, there has been a continual escalation of intensity between the two alphas, and most of the vitriol stems from Trump’s consistent referrals to Celebrity Apprentice ratings.

Of course, Trump is still listed as an executive producer of the reality show, and Schwarzenegger took over hosting duties from Trump when the series started up again in early January. Since then, the ratings for Celebrity Apprentice have sunk to an all-time low, and Trump credits that to Schwarzenegger’s hosting ability.

WATCH: White House downplays Donald Trump’s Apprentice criticism

Click to play video: 'White House downplays Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ criticism' White House downplays Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ criticism
White House downplays Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ criticism – Feb 2, 2017

(There are other potential reasons for the skid, including its schedule time against juggernaut The Bachelor and the fact that the Apprentice brand has dwindled greatly in terms of popularity. Whether that’s happened as attrition over time, or as a result of negative associations with the Trump name, is anybody’s guess. Many reports suggest that the show’s ratings have been on the decline for several years.)

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A few hours after the posting, Schwarzenegger replied to Trump’s tweets, directing him to a quote by former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln from his inauguration:

For the most part, Schwarzenegger’s replies to Trump, 70, have been measured and calm, but the two keep on warring over Twitter and in interviews, trading insults and jabs. Trump even brought up the Apprentice ratings at a solemn event, the National Prayer Breakfast, asking the audience to “pray” for Schwarzenegger. (You can watch the footage of the event, below.)

Click to play video: 'Donald Trump attacks Arnold Schwarzenegger at National Prayer Breakfast' Donald Trump attacks Arnold Schwarzenegger at National Prayer Breakfast
Donald Trump attacks Arnold Schwarzenegger at National Prayer Breakfast – Feb 2, 2017

Schwarzenegger replied on Twitter.

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The Austrian native, 69, who served as the governor of California for eight years, isn’t a stranger to politics, and weighed in on Trump’s travel ban, calling it “stupid.”

“I think the real problem is that it was vetted badly,” Schwarzenegger said last Monday in an interview on Extra. “If they would run this by the Justice Department and Homeland Security… and had the lawyers really study and focus on it, and give it some time to do it the right way.”

You can watch Schwarzenegger discuss the travel ban in the video, below.

But things didn’t stop there. Men’s Health Journal spoke to Schwarzenegger for their March issue, sharing his thoughts about the 45th president in the latest chapter of the duo’s month-long debacle.

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The Terminator star laughed when describing Trump’s early January tweets about the Apprentice ratings, and he said to himself at the time, “Don’t get into a stinking contest with a skunk.”

He also revealed that he needed to take some time to digest and calm himself down before creating the Twitter video in response to Trump. He then joked that he wanted to “smash [Trump’s] face into the table.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump mocks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s poor Apprentice ratings

“I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour,'” he told Men’s Health Journal. “I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting and go back to New York. And then we just smash his face into the table.'”

“And then I think we can’t do that either,” he continued. “I think I have to be above all of that and put him on the spot.”

Schwarzenegger hopes that the Apprentice-ratings social-media battle with Trump isn’t all for naught.

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“I think people really reacted well to [my video] response,” Schwarzenegger said. “I sound more presidential and more diplomatic and more elder statesman — that’s exactly the way Donald should be.”
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