Donald Trump says he could still fire Arnold Schwarzenegger from 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Donald Trump hasn’t lost his firing ability on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” just because he isn’t its host anymore.

The real estate mogul had to leave the popular reality show franchise because he’s running for president. In September, NBC announced it had tapped action movie actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Trump.

On Monday, Trump said during a phone interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that he could send his replacement packing if he wanted to.

“[NBC] would take me right now and they’d get rid of Arnold Schwarzenegger if I wanted to do it,” Trump said. 

In fact, the 69-year-old said that he had a role in picking his replacement. 

“As you know, I have a very big piece of that show. A lot of people don’t know,” he said. “We took Arnold Schwarzennegger, put him in there, and I hope that he’s going to do well.”

Apprentice trump kidsNBCDonald Trump’s children, Donald Jr. (left) and Ivanka won’t be returning to ‘Apprentice’ either.

NBC renewed “Celebrity Apprentice” in February for an eighth season, a 15th season if you count the entire “Apprentice” run. Last season, in which on-air personality Leeza Gibbons triumphed, “Celebrity Apprentice”averaged 7.6 million viewers— its best run since 2012.

Using a replacement isn’t the ideal scenario, as the only other time “The Apprentice” was hosted by someone other than Trump, 2005’s “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” it premiered to just 7.1 million viewers or half of Trump’s “Apprentice” viewership at the time.

Trump is set to work with NBC next when he hosts “Saturday Night Live” on November 7 —  a decision that has angered Hispanic advocacy groups who have asked NBC to cancel his appearance.

Listen to Trump’s statements on “Apprentice” below (10 minutes in):

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