“I always thought that once he understood the weight of the office, he would rise to the occasion,” an unnamed friend said to CNN. “Now I don’t.” This anonymous Trump friend is among the many who have chosen to distance themselves from Trump. These are seven of the worst things Donald Trump’s friends, both past and present, have said about him.
‘He doesn’t know much’ – Bill Clinton
The former POTUS and current president were once admittedly good golf buddies. Back in 2005, Trump called Bill Clinton “a great president.” He even said that “crooked Hillary” — wait for it — “[will] go down at a minimum as a great senator.”
All semblance of a friendship disappeared with the 2016 election. The Record Review, a small-town weekly paper in Chappaqua, New York, caught Clinton out shopping in a bookstore one day and captured questions between him and local shoppers. Clinton replied to one shopper’s question about Trump’s intelligence with, “He doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.”
‘Stop the bullsh*t’ – Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons, producer and Chairman of the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding, was President Trump’s close friend for many years. He told the New York Daily News that Trump wrote the forward to one of Simmons’ books. Simmons reportedly even accompanied Trump on his first date with Melania.
Things took a turn for the worst in December when Simmons published an open letter on the internet titled, “To My Old Friend Donald Trump.” The letter scolded the candidate for “fueling fires of hate.” Simmons reminded Trump that while he may, “have been many people’s champ in the past,” he was now becoming “a major embarrassment.”
‘He just doesn’t understand’ – Joe Scarborough
The nature of Joe Scarborough and Donald Trump’s “frenemy” relationship is volatile. Scarborough, a co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, told The New York Times that while he’s always found Trump to be a “fun, very upbeat, positive, gracious guy,” he no longer recognizes that side of him anymore.
Once a Trump-labeled “believer,” Scarborough has now protested some of the President’s decisions, including his apparent need to tweet his policy opinions. “West Wing staffers would do the country and world a great service if it could somehow apply a … discipline to the president’s Twitter feed,” Scarborough wrote.
‘I think he’s better than this’ – Thomas Barrack
Thomas Barrack has been a close friend of Trump for three decades. Barrack helped rescue Trump’s real estate empire years ago and was the top fundraiser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The billionaire is an Arab American. He reportedly spent weeks trying to “smooth the way” for a meeting in Saudi Arabia between Trump and Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf.
Weeks after the meeting, which at the time seemed to go smoothly, Trump attacked Qatar as “a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” Barrack told The Washington Post he was “shocked” and “stunned” by some of the president’s rhetoric and inflammatory tweets.
‘We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now’ – Chris Christie
While Chris Christie has vocally referred to President Trump as a friend, it’s not clear if Trump reciprocates the feeling. Trump fired Christie as the chairman of his transition team. This was considered the “consolation prize” Christie was given when he was passed over for various cabinet positions.
Back in 2015, Christie was clear about his distaste for the current POTUS. “What you need is a president who’s had the experience and the know-how to do this,” Christie told CBS‘ Face the Nation. “Not someone who’s just going to talk off the top of their head.”
‘He is a unique individual’ – Roger Stone
Roger Stone was a Nixon-era operative who advised Mr. Trump until he quit — or was fired — in 2015. Despite the controversy over who fired whom, Stone was vocal about his distaste for Trump’s approach to politics. Stone reportedly said that he thought the campaign wasn’t serving him well.
“Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message,” Stone wrote. “With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.” Stone is a “confident” Trump supporter again as of this month.
‘I wish he would calm down a little bit’ – Regis Philbin
You can hear Regis Philbin and Donald Trump croon “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” together on The Regis Philbin Christmas Album. However, you may not see them at lunch together anytime soon. Philbin has previously praised Trump’s presidency but had some choice words when asked about the candidate’s demeanor.
Philbin gave an interview on Canadian TV and stated he wished that Mr. Trump would just “calm down a little bit.” Philbin said America would have to wait and see when asked if Trump will make a good president.
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