Dave Chappelle, the comedian who once urged the American public to give Donald Trump “a chance,” minced no words in excoriating the president during an interview with CNN’s Van Jones that aired Saturday night.
“I think the rhetoric of his presidency is repugnant. I just don’t like the way he talks,” Chappelle said of Trump. “We’re living in a time where there’s got to be more cultural sensitivity.”
Chappelle was responding to a question from Jones about the comedian’s controversial “Saturday Night Live” monologue delivered shortly after the 2016 election.
“I’m going to give him a chance,” Chappelle had said of Trump at the time. “And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us a chance too.”
Chappelle has previously expressed regret for those remarks, saying last year that he’d “fucked up.”
He reiterated that sentiment in his chat with Jones, saying that while “I don’t ever apologize for jokes … I shouldn’t have said that shit.”
Chappelle, who appeared alongside former NAACP president Ben Jealous, suggested that Trump does not represent the majority of Americans.
“As a president of a country that’s as eclectic as ours … I just think that he’s speaking to a very small choir,” he said.
In contrast, Chappelle described Jealous ― a Democrat running for governor in Maryland and the godson of Chappelle’s father ― as someone who can bring people together.
“It’s cynical out here. It’s polarizing the way that I’ve never seen it before. And I feel like Ben is a uniter,” said Chappelle, who grew up in Maryland. “As a policymaker, he’s imaginative and he understands people.”
Jones asked Chappelle about his friend Kanye West, who has emerged as a high-profile Trump supporter and who’s stirred controversy with eyebrow-raising comments.
Chappelle had kind words for West, who he described as a “genius” and “my brother.” But, Chappelle added, “Yeah, he shouldn’t say all that shit.”
“I’m not mad at Kanye. That’s my brother ― I love him, I support him,” Chappelle said. “But, you know, I don’t have to agree with everything that he says.”