The rapper Kid Rock said Donald Trump once asked him for advice about US policy on Islamic State and North Korea.
in an interview with the Fox News host Tucker Carlson broadcast on Monday night, the musician also discussed “cancel culture” – claiming to be “uncancelable” – and the coronavirus pandemic.
On the latter, referring to Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, he said: “Fuck Fauci.”
“You speak for many when you say that,” Carlson answered.
Because of his role in the federal response to a pandemic which has killed more than 972,000 in the US, Fauci, 81, has faced threats to his security and that of his family.
Kid Rock has described himself, to the Guardian, as “definitely a Republican on fiscal issues and the military, but I lean to the middle on social issues.”
“I am no fan of abortion,” he said, “but it’s not up to a man to tell a woman what to do. As an ordained minister I don’t look forward to marrying gay people, but I’m not opposed to it.”
He also said he “played Barack Obama’s inauguration [in 2009] even though I didn’t vote for him. I did not agree with his policies, but there was an exciting sense of change in the air. That promise hasn’t been fulfilled – the country is more divided than ever.”
In the aftermath of the Trump presidency, such judgments have been borne out. Carlson, Kid Rock’s interlocutor on Monday, has emerged as a particularly divisive primetime presence.
In a friendly interview timed for the release of a new album – Kid Rock wearing a “We the People” cap, Carlson in V-neck sweater and khakis – the subject turned to the musician’s friendship with Trump.
In a famous picture from 2017, the rapper was shown in the Oval Office, behind the Resolute Desk, with Trump, the rock musician Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential nominee. Palin said she invited the rightwing rockers “because Jesus was booked.”
“I was there with [Trump] one day when he ended the caliphate,” Kid Rock, 51 and born Robert Ritchie, told Carlson in reference to US efforts against the Islamic State.
“I wanted to put out a tweet… I don’t like to speak out of school. I hope I’m not. But … the tweet was, and I’m paraphrasing, but it’s like, you know, ‘If you ever joined the caliphate, you know, trying to do this, you’re going to be dead.’
“He goes, ‘What do you think?’ [I said] ‘Awesome. I can’t add any better.’ But then it comes out and it’s … reworded and more political, to look politically correct. And just, ‘be afraid’.”
He also said he and Trump were once “looking at maps. I’m like, you know, like, ‘Am I supposed to be in on this shit?’ Like I make dirty records sometimes. Gone.
“’What do you think we should do about North Korea?’ I’m like, ‘What? I don’t think I’m qualified to answer this.’”
In four years in office, Trump both threatened and met with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. No progress was made in ending the US standoff with the nuclear-armed dictator.
Some online critics wondered whether Trump really asked Kid Rock what to do about North Korea.
But after Kid Rock’s White House visit with Nugent and Palin in 2017, Nugent told the New York Times the group discussed “’health, fitness, food, rock’n’roll, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, secure borders, the history of the United States, guns, bullets, bows and arrows, North Korea, Russia and a half-dozen other issues”.
Speaking to Carlson, Kid Rock also praised Trump for speaking “off the cuff.”
“See now, if you watch a Joe Biden interview, and you watch a Trump interview, there’s no comparison. And Trump speaks off the cuff.
“I understand what it’s like, sometimes you get it wrong. But I would rather hear somebody come from here [the heart] and get it wrong once in a while.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism