Donald Trump spoke about his friendship with Michael Jackson at the CNN town hall last week, and apparently the business mogul’s comments didn’t sit well with the King of Pop’s older brother Jermaine Jackson. Whether Trump’s speech about Michael was in bad taste remains subjective, but Trump’s comments about the singer over the years indicate that he was a fan of his work and character.
The Washington Post reports that Trump referred to Michael Jackson as a “good friend,” but it was what he said next that prompted Jermaine Jackson to jump to his little brother’s defense. According to Trump,
“I knew the real story of Michael Jackson. He was an unbelievably talented guy. He lost his confidence. He lost tremendous confidence because of, honestly, bad, bad, bad surgery. He had the worst. He had people that did numbers on him that were just unbelievable. Facially, you know, the plastic surgeons…..Believe it or not, when you lose your confidence in something, you can even lose your talent.”
Jermaine, obviously troubled by Trump’s comments, took to Twitter to express his frustrations.
Although some Twitter users responded that Trump meant no disrespect to the “Thriller” singer, Jermaine Jackson apparently disagrees. He continued on to say,
“Michael’s confidence was affected by the pressures, injustice and vitriol of external circumstances. Period. Name-dropping Michael don’t make you cool and won’t win you votes. Especially when using botched facts.”
There’s no question that the King of Pop and Trump were friends. Jermaine clarified that his comments weren’t indicating that his brother didn’t know Trump, but instead, that a friend shouldn’t say anything about a “botched surgery.”
“I never said ‘You’re no friend of Michael.’ He was. It’s ‘botched surgery’ talk that I don’t expect from a friend.”
Other Twitter users took things a bit further. In defense of Trump, someone blasted Jermaine Jackson’s appearance, indicating that Jermaine’s hairstyle made him “lose confidence in humanity.”
The subject of the King of Pop was broached at a political Q&A when CNN news host Anderson Cooper asked Trump what kind of music he enjoyed. The Republican presidential candidate listed off Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles as some of his favorites, but the question prompted the real estate mogul to share his story about Michael Jackson.
Trump also talked about the King of Pop’s relationship with Lisa Presley, and despite rumors that their short marriage was a set-up, Trump assured the crowd that it was a real marriage and that the pair were married at Trump Tower.
People reports that Trump spoke about Michael Jackson’s reported difficulties before. In 2009, the Republican presidential candidate stated that the King of Pop had a rough 10 years prior to his death, which affected his ability to shine like he once did.
“Now, Michael wasn’t the same Michael for the last 10 years. He was not well. He had a lot of problems, a lot of difficulties. He had a very rough 10 years. He was embarrassed by it. He was embarrassed by what was happening to him.”
However, Trump also said that Michael Jackson was magical, a genius, and a truly good person that he was honored to know.
“He was an amazing guy, but beyond all else, he was the greatest entertainer I’ve ever known. He had magic. He was a genius. He was also a really good person, and when you got to know him, you realized how smart he was. He was brilliant.”
In a 2009 CNN interview, Trump expressed not only was Michael Jackson “a perfect gentleman,” but also the greatest entertainer ever.
“I’ve had every entertainer working for me more or less. I knew Pavarotti, I knew all of the great entertainers. I think the greatest entertainer that I have ever seen was Michael Jackson. There’s never been anyone like him.”
Arguably one of the most touching comments Donald Trump made about the King of Pop occurred in 2005, when Michael Jackson was indicted on child molestation charges by the Santa Barbara, California, grand jury.
“I’m gonna stick up for him when no one else, but I don’t believe it….. I’ve never known Michael to do anything wrong and I think he’s a great guy. I believe he’ll be found not guilty.”
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]