Ted Nugent has defended Donald Trump after the U.S. president was accused of making racist remarks about Democratic congresswomen from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
The dispute began after Trump tweeted that four outspoken liberal congresswomen of color — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — should "go back and help fix" their "broken and crime infested" countries. Omar, from Somalia, is the only one who is foreign-born.
The president's tweets drew a rebuke from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said the president wants to "make America white again."
Nugent, a vocal supporter of the Republican Party and various associated conservative causes, was asked to respond to Pelosi's comments during a recent appearance on "The Laura Ingraham Show" podcast. The rocker said (hear audio below): "Where does the lie start that this president is a racist or a bigot or he doesn't like gays or lesbians? Where does this come from? I know President Trump. People say I'm a racist. I'm anything but a racist. People who call me a racist are the racists. If you're gay or lesbian or you're confused about your gender, I don't know anybody who cares. We want you to be happy; we want you to be able to make your own choices in life. But where does this lie that this tidal wave of bigotry and hate comes from the right?
"I've been in this world for 71 years this year," Ted continued. "I've never met a racist. I knew the [Ku Klux] Klan existed and I knew people who were against freedom, and I know there's Nazis and goofballs all over the world, but when you prioritize your quality of life and you always judge based on content of character, racists won't come near you; bigots won't enter your life.
"Where does she get the lie, where does the left get the lie that President Trump wants to make America white again?" Nugent added. "Nancy Pelosi, what kind of mind-altering chemicals are you on to think such a nasty, false, hateful thing about our great president, who I happen to believe is the greatest president, and he really is making America America again. So I'm confused, like everybody who lives truth, logic and common sense, why the hate. And not only that, but every reference to their hate, it's unsubstantiated — it's all a lie."
Nugent also slammed U.S. women soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who is publicly feuding with President Trump. The team's top scorer and an outspoken activist for civil rights recently the president "divisive" and said that Trump's "message is excluding" her, people that look like her, people of color and "Americans that maybe support" the president. Rapinoe also criticized Trump's 2016 campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
"Hey, Megan, write this down: the president doesn't exclude anyone — period," Ted said. "What level of effort is necessary to continue to lie to yourself about this president, about Republicans, about conservatives, about the NRA…? I mean, to what level of effort do you have to go to lie to yourself to make up these nasty, hateful lies about all the best people in the world.
"I've been a life member of the NRA for my entire adult life," Nugent continued. "I'm on the board of directors with some of the highest votes. The NRA is a civil rights organization making sure that all free people have the right to defend themselves. How could you possibly hate that?"
Nugent and fellow Detroit-bred rocker Kid Rock got to spend some time in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump in April 2017. They were joined by Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor and GOP vice presidential nominee, who posted photos of the visit on social media the following morning. Nugent later told the Detroit Free Press that he and Kid Rock represent a salt-of-the-earth American demographic that helped Trump land the presidency.