Clay Aiken, the singer and 2014 congressional candidate, says that he’s taking back some of the nice comments he made about Donald Trump in the wake of the GOP frontrunner’s response to violence at his campaign rallies.
“You can’t tell me that you are going to be the person who’s toughest with Vladimir Putin if you don’t even have the balls to tell your people not to hit folks,” Aiken, who appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice” with Trump, told Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “And I don’t have any respect for that.”
In interviews last fall, Aiken said that Trump was a “good guy,” based on the experience he had with him on “Apprentice” and how he treated those who appeared on the show. But Aiken is now upset over what he sees as Trump’s rhetoric at his campaign rallies, as well as his recent denials that he ever said he would pay legal fees of a supporter who sucker punched a protester at a campaign event in North Carolina. Trump has said that he would do so or, when it came to an incident at a North Carolina rally, that he was thinking of doing so.
“Forget unpresidential, it’s delusional,” Aiken said.
But Aiken says that one aspect of Trump often lost in the coverage is that he “does not want to be disliked. That is hard to believe when you hear what he is saying, but he does not want to be disliked. And if he ends up as a candidate in the general election, he is going to moderate like nobody’s business, because he does not want to be disliked.”
Aiken also says that while he has had a lot of respect for Trump’s children Ivanka, Don and Eric, he is “kind of pissed” at them for not standing up to their father.
Aiken says that when it comes to Trump’s victory speeches, “You could just replace him with Kris Jenner and he could be saying the same thing.”
Aiken has endorsed Bernie Sanders, but he does think that Hillary Clinton has improved as a candidate. One thing she should shed, he says, is the use of a teleprompter, as other candidates speak off the cuff. “And the thing that upsets me is she is the smartest person in the room,” he says.
Listen to the interview here.
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“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.