Why Andre Leon Talley Admires Donald Trump

At Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon on Friday, honoree Vera Wang packed her table with fashion A-listers Anna Wintour, Donna Karan and Andre Leon Talley. Dressed in his iconic caftan — and shunning photographers — Talley still made some time to talk to Variety after the event.

What do you think of the election?
It’s overkill. You have to divorce yourself from it, because it is on 24/7 now. I take a break. I don’t follow it every day, I don’t want to read about it. I want to live in a world of harmony and peace. I am definitely for Hillary Clinton, because I’ve always loved what she stood for and I just don’t understand the politics. I don’t want to follow it anymore.

What is your take on Donald Trump?
I wish him well. I wish him every success. I think he is a very important entertainer, and he is doing a great job running for president.

You do? 
Well, I think perhaps, I can’t say he has done a “great job.” I think he has done what he thinks is right. He feels it distinctively. It is an organic, fluid campaign, and he is the head of his own campaign and it is phenomenal what he has created, although I do think it is quite divisive. There are some things he’s said I certainly don’t agree with, but I admire him for doing what he has done.

You must know him socially?
I went to Melania’s wedding in Palm Beach. I think Melania is fabulous. I thought that was a wonderful event.

What is your news diet?
I sort of filter it. I catch five minutes of every important show, but my favorite show is “Morning Joe,” so I tend to look at that for an hour-and-half. My second favorite is the cycle starting with Chris Matthews and [Chris] Hayes, and then a lot of Rachel Maddow. I flip back and forth between Anderson Cooper. In the 2008 cycle, I loved MSNBC. But I do find you want to hear other things that are going on in the world; you want to know who has passed away like Merle Haggard. Didn’t he die?

I love it when people take the time to celebrate the mourning of famous people on CNN or even MSNBC. But I also think that television is important as an entertaining device. It is important to be entertained. My favorite show to look at in the morning is Wendy Williams because I think she represents something so real and so vital to women. She is a proud woman and an intelligent woman.

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