Pop star Miley Cyrus claimed in a recent interview with The New York Times Donald that Trump was a fan of her infamous “twerking” at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
Cyrus, who recently came out as pansexual and who will host this year’s VMAs, was widely criticized for her sexually suggestive dancing and appearance in 2013, which some argued was a case of cultural appropriation. Still, the performance helped raise Cyrus’ profile and shed her child star persona.
According to Cyrus, the GOP front-runner personally reached out to the now 22-year-old singer to praise her after the show. “I was staying at the Trump Hotel and Donald Trump literally called and said, basically, ‘I know everyone’s talking about it, but I loved it,’” Cyrus told the Times. “I had no idea anyone was talking about it yet.”
Trump has a long history of weighing in on pop culture news involving celebrities who are his junior by many decades. In fact, when Cyrus split with her boyfriend actor Liam Hemsworth that same year, the real estate mogul tweeted that the “Wrecking Ball” singer could “do much better”:
Later on, Trump offered an unsolicited critique of the singer, saying she was on a “slippery path”:
MTV has told the press that Cyrus will have “free reign” at this year’s awards to be as outrageous as she wants to be.
“Obviously there are standards and various other things that were always a part of it, but no, [no rules] … It never comes from a place of trying to limit the range, it’s always coming from a place of trying to open up the full palate,” VMA executive producer Garrett English told Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday.
The VMAs will air live this Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.