Donald Trump

The Trump/Jillette Feud of July 2015

Dancing with the stars

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Donald Trump, the first major presidential candidate to campaign by trolling people on Twitter, issued this pronouncement today:

This was almost certainly a response to a recent appearance by the magician/comedian on MSNBC. As Business Insider described it,

Trumpy, you can do magic things!
The Simpsons

Jillette, who said he would be supporting a libertarian candidate in 2016, repeatedly offered Trump backhanded praise.

"The American public prayed for somebody on the political scene who would tell the truth without filters. And like the monkey's paw, it's come back and bitten them in the butt. You like it America? Here's someone without filters. Is this what you want? And it's kind of refreshing except that he's wrong about everything," Jillette said.

Jillette also mocked Trump's line of ties, noting that though the candidate loves to complain that the Chinese are stealing our jobs, the clothes bearing his brand were made in China.

Far less than that has set Trump off in the past. But in this case, he might also have some pent-up anger about the account Jillette wrote a few years ago about his time on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice show. Here's an excerpt:

Teller is clever and quiet and has a name that starts with "T." Trump's name also begins with a "T."
Todd Krainin

For one "task," Donald Trump asked us to create a Macy's store display and print ads for his new fragrance. Is there anyone who wants to smell like Donald Trump? Mr. Trump thinks so, so we were asked to create advertising. Instead of the usual twenty grand that the show would give to the winning "team leader's" charity, Donald floated the promise that if he "loved" our promotional material, he would give one hundred thousand dollars to his "loved" one's charity. Five times the amount that was arbitrarily assigned to this "task." In other words, if Trump got an ad that he could actually use for his stink-pretty juice, he would pay about twenty percent of what he would have to pay in the free market to hire a professional to do the job properly. Trump was willing to donate one-fifth of what the campaign would be worth to charity. I got fired for coming up with the slogan "You Earned It." They thought that slogan was "pompous." My slogan for a perfume with Donald's picture on it called "Success" was deemed pompous. Wow. The problem was my audience, I think. "You Earned It" isn't good for the Trumps. It should have been "You Inherited It."

If they ever start a show called Celebrity Insult Comic, I don't doubt that Jillette could beat Trump hands down.

Bonus links: Jillette responded graciously to Trump's tweet this morning, but Trump kept burping little put-downs onto Twitter throughout the day. They are—how shall I put this?—not particularly clever. If you're a fan of this sort of thing, you can watch the candidate's feed for more.

Bonus video: ReasonTV interviews Jillette: