Popular R&B singer John Legend got into a very public spat this past weekend with Donald Trump Jr., the scion of the GOP presidential front-runner.
The eldest son of the real estate mogul has established a following of his own, thanks to his appearances alongside his father on "Celebrity Apprentice." He also has his fair share of detractors — in part due to his proclivity for safari hunting. During this campaign cycle, he has become an increasingly vocal proponent of his father's controversial positions and, this weekend, he lashed out at protesters at Trump rallies on social media.
"Ha 5 students when asked why they were protesting couldn't even answer. The participation medal/micro aggression generation is pretty sad!" Trump Jr. tweeted on Friday amid violent clashes between activists and his father's supporters on the streets of Chicago.
Legend, who is a very public supporter of President Obama and progressive causes, struck back on Twitter. "I think they were protesting your racist father," he wrote. "This isn't complicated."
Trump Jr. tweeted back: "Here we go again. That can't be the answer for everything you don't like. That's why the country is so divided now!"
The "All of Me" singer soon found himself fending off shots from Trump supporters. "Yes, Trump trolls. I'm the real racist," he wrote, with a link to a Daily Beast article that looks at the 1973 Department of Justice lawsuit against the real estate mogul for deliberately discriminating against African-Americans seeking housing in one of his buildings. When Trump backers tried to label Legend as uneducated — which was just a small sample of the racially tinged invective directed at him — he pointed out that he graduated from the same Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania, as Trump and his son:
This is not the first time a member of the Legend family has tussled with the Trumps. Legend's wife, supermodel Chrissy Teigen, took shots at Trump late last fall when the candidate promoted an upcoming meeting with black evangelical clergymen on social media by insisting it's "not a press event."
"@realDonaldTrump so don't tweet about it you t--t," Teigen wrote on Twitter.
Trump took the bait, retweeting a supporter of his who wrote: "Wow! Trashy gutter mouth woman. You can't hold a candle 2 Melania Trump when it comes to beauty and eloquence."
Teigen retorted: "Ok trumpers let's get one thing straight, we both married well and pose half naked, I'm not alone in this." The candidate's wife is a former model who did once pose nude for British GQ. "Lol poor melania doesn't need to be dragged into this. She goes through enough already," she added. The whole exchange happened to take place on Teigen's 30th birthday, and the model called the backlash from Trump the "perfect gift."
The planned meeting with black pastors, which Trump boasted would result in 100 endorsements, was canceled after it became apparent that he would not be getting their support. "I think what happened … probably some of the Black Lives Matter folks called them up and said, 'Oh, you shouldn't be meeting with Trump because he believes that all lives matter,'" Trump said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" afterwards. "I believe black lives do matter, but I believe all lives matter — very strongly."
This weekend, Tiegen stood by her husband after his Trump Jr. feud with the simple tweet: "Got em."
Meanwhile, Trump Jr. appears to be following his father's lead when it comes to antagonizing his political opponents. According to Gawker, he briefly retweeted (and then deleted) allegations that a 63-year-old woman photographed outside the Trump rally in Chicago doing the Nazi salute was actually a plant from the Bernie Sanders campaign, misidentifying her as Portia Boulger, who runs a Women for Sanders Twitter account.
The New York Times interviewed the woman, identified as Birgitt Peterson, and confirmed that she is a Trump supporter and that she made the gesture as a counter-protest to "make the point that they are demonstrating something they had no knowledge about." Peterson, who was born in West Berlin, was offended by comparisons between Adolf Hitler and the GOP front-runner.
On Friday, Trump Jr. echoed what has quickly become a taking point for his father's supporters: "Liberals love the first amendment until you say something they don't agree with."