Watch CBS News

Russell Simmons Calls Trump 'Scary,' Reveals He Was At First Date With Melania

FERNDALE (WWJ) Hip hop legend Russell Simmons made headlines when he called Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump "the epitome of a white male supremist."

He doubled down on that sentiment on a trip to the Motor City Monday, where he said Trump doesn't respect women and is "Islamaphobic."

Simmons also delved deep into his relationship with the candidate, revealing he's known him for more than 30 years.

They were so close at one point that Simmons said he was with Trump during his first date with current wife Melania.

"I remember him telling me how educated she was and what a good family she came from," Simmons said. "And then we all found out that even then, when he told me all that, how many years ago, was not true. We found out she's not educated, they had lied about her background and her family, her good family he referred to. I'm always surprised at what people will accept. I know he's a reality star but this is the presidential campaign, we should double check his facts."

The two have obviously had a falling out between then and now.

"We know that, he's anti-Semitic, I've heard him say anti-Semitic things," Simmons told WWJ 950's Sandra McNeil. "He's homophobic, I've heard him talk about gay people. And I said sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, anti-Semitic -- who's left? And that's how he's also feeding people who also may not have been hateful.

"(They) didn't know where to place the blame for their sadness or being locked out of a job, and so some of these people, who may have had little seeds of hate in them, now those seeds are being watered to the point where they are now hateful people, people who didn't know where to blame, who to blame, their pain on.  Now blaming Mexicans and African American and Muslims ... It takes only a second for this kind of thing to swell up."

He went on to liken it to the kind of culture that created Nazi Germany.

"Donald Trump is a very scary figure ..." Simmons said.

Simmons is notable in the hip hop community as the co-founder of Def Jam Records, and the person who signed the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and LL Cool J to early record deals. He eventually sold Def Jam to Universal Music Group for $100 million.

A strict vegan and yoga enthusiast, Simmons applauded President Barack Obama for working to dismantle the "prison industrial complex," and his strides in health care.

Simmons is an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton, pointing out her charitable works.

He wrote a open letter to Trump at the end of last year, urging him to "stop the bullsh**."

He also implored his "amazing friend" of "30-plus years" to "stop fueling fires of hate."



View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.