Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has hit back at Donald Trump, after the US president took a swipe at his television ratings at Washington’s annual prayer breakfast.

On his maiden visit to the marquee political and religious event, Mr Trump took a joking swipe at his successor as host of The Apprentice.

“I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can for those ratings, okay?” Mr Trump told assembled faith leaders.

Schwarzenegger, a former California governor, was among the Republican figures who refused to back Trump’s bid for the presidency.

He responded to Mr Trump in a video statement and suggested they trade places.

Schwarzenegger took over as host of the show on NBC television after Mr Trump ditched the boardroom for an improbable foray into politics.

A few weeks before being sworn in as the 45th president of the US, Mr Trump took to Twitter to mock his Apprentice successor.

In a pair of early morning tweets, Mr Trump ripped into the actor-turned-politician, ridiculing viewing figures for the season premiere – and calling himself a “Ratings machine” by comparison.

Arnold Schwarzenegger