American Apprentice star Donald Trump has slammed his British opposite number, Lord Sugar, during a furious row on Twitter. The US businessman told the Amstrad founder that his business acumen isn’t up to the job of hiring and firing candidates, and claimed that he has the power to remove the “stupid” Sugar from the British show. Sugar denied this was the case, calling Trump “full of s**t”.
The exchange, which took place last night to the delight of Twitter users in the UK, began when Trump made a questionable claim about the British energy industry.
When challenged on this by his followers, Trump – whose opposition to Scottish wind might be coloured slightly by his fervent desire not to have turbines sited near his hugely controversial Aberdeenshire golf course, because they would spoil the view and might become entangled in his hair if the wind blows from the north-west – held his ground.
Scores of tweeters replied to say that they were Scottish, they did want wind farms, and they didn’t want Trump’s course. One non-Scot summed up their concerns: his punctuation was uncertain and his understanding of the Twitter convention of retweeting was shaky, but his point was clear.
Don wasn’t standing for this. Furiously, he unleashed a professional slamdown, making good use of the Twitter “period of indignation” (starting a reply with a full stop so all your followers see the tweet, not just those who follow both you and your opponent) and spreading the diss across two tweets. The second one was the haymaker.
Fingers dancing on his iPad, Sugar dealt with this double slight in typically businesslike fashion, with his own bracing brace.
Donald now hurled down what you might very well call his, hah, “Trump card”.
For a start, Lord Sugar really doesn’t like being addressed simply as “Sugar”. Go on, give it a try yourself. He hates it. But this was getting heavy now. Trump was effectively claiming that he made Sugar, and he could jolly well break him. Did he have Sugar in the palm of his hand, ready to feed him to the horse of obscurity? Sugar shot back as follows.
We hate to say it but Trump might actually be right here. Although The Apprentice, which started in the US with Trump as the star, was created solely by Mark Burnett, it’s a co-production between Burnett and Trump’s TV companies and they co-own the franchise. Whether or not this means Trump really has a veto over the British cast, we don’t know. We doubt it. Anyway, Sugar found a new line of attack.
Trump stuck to his guns, waving a virtual wad of money in his Lordship’s face and continuing the trashtalk with a volley of tweets only slightly undermined by the unfortunate choice of phrase “Drop to your knees, Sugar”.
Ignoring these exciting new homoerotic overtones, Lord Sugar fought on.
At this point, diplomatic man of affairs and 2008 US Celebrity Apprentice champion Piers Morgan joined the conversation, with his customary sagacity and elegance.
This Scrappy Doo-esque intervention prompted replies from both the warring moguls.
Lord Sugar’s ripostes were now having little impact. Trump could smell victory. He maintained his fighting persona, somewhere between God and General Zod.
Lord Sugar was briefly buoyed by the arrival of serial Twitter spat loser Morgan, using him to score a quick point.
But against the big Yank, Lord Sugar was on the ropes, a fact highlighted by his next tweet. There are three clear ways to signal that you’ve lost an online argument: calling the other guy a Nazi, saying “we’ll have to agree to disagree”, and boasting about the number of followers you have.
Sugar did, however, still have his other point to make, although finance-based insults tend not to win zinger-offs. “You have bank debt on your real estate” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Drop to your knees, Sugar”.
Trump, perhaps wisely, continued to ignore this and carried on showboating.
At this point, Alan and Donald’s mums called them in for their tea and the scrap was over. But not before our man claimed victory.