In a brand new interview with WGN Radio, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons — a former contestant on Donald Trump's "The Celebrity Apprentice" show — was asked if he is still friends with the billionaire real estate mogul. "Sure," he responded (hear audio below). "And for people out there who think every time you say 'President Trump' that it's a political conversation, I urge everybody to just take a deep breath. He was elected, and so were the Republicans across America. And the next time there's an election, you'll have a chance to draw the curtains — because it's nobody's damn business who you vote for — and vote your conscience. If you like our president, you'll vote him back in. If you don't like him, then you'll vote for somebody else."
He continued: "The last thing we should be doing as a country is to fight with each other. Everybody's got a different point of view, and that's okay — that's what makes America great.
"By the way, al Qaeda, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, all the bad guys in the Middle East don't make a distinction between left and right, Democrat or Republican; they hate all of you. They just think you're all Americans. Now that's a good idea. [It's] the American party."
Last December, Simmons told TMZ that celebrities should keep their political opinions to themselves — especially when it comes to the results of the 2016 presidential election.
"Why does anybody give a squat what a guy in a band thinks about or anything like that?" he said. "The last thing I wanna do is to ask President Obama what he thinks about LED ZEPPELIN."
Prior to last November's election, Simmons told People magazine that he liked how Trump was shaking up the presidential race.
"The important thing about Trump, and I'm not saying whether I'm voting for him, or Hilary [Clinton], or anybody else, is that he has changed the game," Simmons said. "He doesn't want your money. This guy funds his own campaign, and he is going to say things that tens of millions of people actually say quietly because politically it's 'incorrect.'"
In a March 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Simmons described Donald Trump as "the truest political animal I've ever seen onstage." The rocker explained: "He has no speechwriters, no editing, no nothing. He's actually on tape going 'motherfucker.' You cannot turn away."
Simmons stressed at that time that he wasn't saying he was supporting Trump. "He has said some very vile, unkind things," he said. "But don't kid yourself. He speaks off the cuff, and what you see is what you get. And he'll double down. If you ask him about building a wall [between the U.S. and Mexico] he'll say, 'Fuck you, I'm going to make it ten feet higher, just because you asked me.' He's not there to be your friend."
"He's good for the political system," Simmons added. "The middle, the centrists, they can say, 'What do you think of this?' because everybody is sick and tired of being politically correct. Secretly, tens of millions, perhaps a hundred million people may actually have some positive feelings about a wall."