Clay Aiken on Donald Trump’s Run for Presidency: “I Don’t Think Anybody Should Discount Him”

Clay Aiken; Donald Trump
Clay Aiken said in a recent interview that people shouldn't "discount" Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. Michael Stewart/FilmMagic; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Clay Aiken speaks! The American Idol alum flip-flopped a bit on his opinion about Donald Trump’s run for presidency in a recent interview with Billboard magazine — and his thoughts are surprising.

“Anybody who discounts him is shortsighted,” he said of Trump’s much-talked about bid for the presidency. “I don’t think anybody should discount him. Nobody thought that we would see him in the position he is in right now. He is certainly the front-runner with no signs of that fading.”

Aiken, 36, added that Trump’s bid is something the “country has needed for a long time,” in terms of breaking “this stranglehold of the two-party system.”

“I kind of hope he decides to stick with it and maybe give people another option outside of the Republicans and Democrats,” he said.

In March of this year, Aiken was singing a different tune during a Q&A session following the screening of his Esquire Network docuseries The Runner-Up.

“I like him as a person,” Aiken said at the time. “He has been nice to me and supported me, but I think he’s got maybe less of a chance than I did [running for office].”

The singer ran for a North Carolina congressional seat in 2014.

Aiken and Trump, 69, previously crossed paths in 2012, when the “Measure of a Man” singer competed on Trump’s reality series Celebrity Apprentice; he came in as a runner-up after winner Arsenio Hall.

“My mother’s here tonight and she’s already sat through me losing once,” he told the live studio audience before Trump’s final decision, referring to his 2003 American Idol loss to Ruben Studdard.

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