Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger believes it is time for all Americans to throw their support behind President-elect Donald Trump.
In an interview on Today Thursday morning, the new host of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice — who stumped and voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the primaries and later said he would not vote for Trump in the general election — said that now that the election is over, it is important to put divisions aside and come together for the good of the country.
“What changed is that now he is elected and now it is very important that we support the president and that we come together and we stop whining, and it becomes one nation,” Schwarzenegger told host Matt Lauer.
Schwarzenegger said he was inspired by a letter that former President George H.W. Bush wrote to then-incoming President-elect Bill Clinton before he took office, in which the Republican wished his Democratic successor good luck, because it would mean the country was successful.
“When someone is elected, then you get 100 percent behind them and you help them shape the future,” he said. “It’s very hard for people to do that, but that’s the effort we all have to make.”
When asked what piece of political advice he might give to the President-elect, Schwarzenegger urged Trump to “keep working with the other Party.”
“If you take people from both parties then you get 100 percent of the brainpower,” he said. “And there’s so much brainpower in the United States. This is by far the smartest country in the world, and the best country in the world. Now the trick of it is to go and make it even better.”
In the earlier portion of the interview, Schwarzenegger — who is due to take over on Celebrity Apprentice starting next year — defended Trump’s retention of an executive producer credit on the show.
“I think it’s perfectly fine that he has the executive producer credit, because he created the show with Mark Burnett together, so why should his credit go? But he’s made it very clear that he has no interest in being involved. It is now my show, I’m the host, I’m the new boss and I’m going to run this show.”
Watch Schwarzenegger’s appearance on Today above.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum