Current Affairs

Singer Clay Aiken apologises for defending Trump

Jess Glass August 16, 2017
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Clay Aiken in 2009

Clay Aiken in 2009 (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

American Idol star Clay Aiken has backtracked on comments defending President Trump, apologising for saying that Trump wasn’t “actually racist.”

Aiken took to Twitter on Tuesday night (August 15) to apologise for defending the President against claims of racism throughout his campaign and early presidency.

This apology comes after the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville on August 12, where white nationalists clashed with anti-white supremacy protesters, resulting in the deaths of three individuals.

President Trump has been internationally criticised for his response to the incident as he said that the blame should be put on “many sides”, failing to specifically condemn the white supremacists.

Earlier this year, Aiken said that he believed worries over the Trump presidency were exaggerated, although he was clear that it was still far from ideal.

Aiken followed up his apology with a clarification of these comments and previous support, tweeting that he had always considered Trump to be a presidential ‘dumpster fire.’

He was also noted saying that he has always been clear in his political allegiance, and never considered voting for President Trump.

In the 2016 Presidential election, Aiken was repeatedly supportive of Hilary Clinton’s presidential bid.

Clay Aiken is a registered Democrat who made an unsuccessful bid for the North Carolina Congress in 2014.

Arsenio Hall, Donald Trump and Clay Aiken at the finale of the "Celebrity Apprentice"
Arsenio Hall, Donald Trump and Clay Aiken at the finale of the “Celebrity Apprentice”

The US singer is best known as a contestant on the second series of American Idol, where he placed as the runner-up. Aiken was also a star on season twelve of Celebrity Apprentice, which Trump hosted prior to his successful Presidential bid.

Arsenio Hall, Donald Trump and Clay Aiken at the finale of the "Celebrity Apprentice"
Arsenio Hall, Donald Trump and Clay Aiken at the finale of the “Celebrity Apprentice”

The former congressional candidate has provided a mixed response to Trump on several occasions, frequently criticising his policies but also often attempting to moderate early complaints of Trump’s potential racism and destructive nature.

The Celebrity Apprentice star has previously said that despite appearances, Trump had little to no power over who was fired on the show and was only the face of the programme.

Aiken did attend a Trump rally in October 2016, stating on his Instagram that whilst a Trump presidency would be a frightening concept, discussions with his supporters did prove enlightening.

His attendance was met with both praise and criticism, with many fans admiring his open stance towards the then presidential candidate.

Other fans were less enthused, citing Trump’s history of bigoted remarks and behaviours.

Aiken came out as gay in 2008 and has worked with a number of LGBT+ rights charities within the United States.

More: Charlottesville, Clay Aiken, Donald Trump, LGBT, Politics, racism, US, US

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