The feud that erupted between Donald Trump and Bill Cosby last week shows no signs of subsiding. The legendary actor-comedian lit into the business mogul about his presidential aspirations last Thursday when both appeared on TODAY, saying “run or shut up.” And now Trump has fired back, saying he was dumbstruck by Cosby’s pointed comments because he believed the two were friends.
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In a written statement, Trump said: “I was surprised to hear him blabber, somewhat incoherently, ‘you run or shut up.’ The hatred was pouring out of his eyes.
“If he doesn’t want me to run because he’s obviously an Obama fan, he should state the reasons and not come into my green room in front of numerous witnesses and treat me like his best friend,” Trump's statement continued.Story: Bill Cosby to Donald Trump: ‘Run or shut up’
Cosby’s scorn for a Trump presidential run came during an interview with Meredith Vieira last Thursday about Cosby’s work to improve education in urban neighborhoods. Cosby scoffed at Trump’s claim during a previous TODAY segment that he could not officially announce his candidacy for president in 2012 until the current season of his TV reality competition “The Apprentice” closes shop. And “run or shut up” weren’t the only choice words the outspoken Cosby had to share.
“Oh, please, with Donald Trump, take him home with you!” he told Vieira that morning. When Vieira asked why, Cosby responded: “Because he’s full of it.”Video: Cosby on Trump: ‘He’s full of it’ (on this page)
Cosby claimed not to care whether Trump runs or not. But he became increasingly agitated when Vieira commented, “If he runs, you’ve got to take it seriously.”
“No, I don't,” Cosby replied. “Not him, not him.”
Two faces of Cos?
For his part, Trump claims the 73-year-old entertainer-activist might be showing two faces. He said the pair have met on several occasions and he “always assumed [Cosby] liked or respected me.
“Every time I met him, he was always so nice, saying, ‘Let’s get together’ — asking me out to dinner, and being polite to the point of offering to buy me a suit because he has a ‘great tailor,’” Trump stated.
TODAY reached out to the Cosby camp for a comment, and was told, "No response."Video: Trump ups ante in feud with Cosby (on this page)
To be sure, Cosby might be underestimating the power of The Donald: A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump is a Republican party front-runner for the presidential nomination should he officially throw his hat in the ring.
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And that hasn’t escaped the attention of the Obama White House. On Sunday, the president's senior adviser, David Plouffe, scoffed at Trump’s White House prospects on ABC’s “This Week”: “There is zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job,” Plouffe said. “Mainstream Americans think it’s a sideshow.”Story: Trump: I have ‘real doubts’ Obama was born in U.S.
But Trump cited Plouffe’s statement as only further proof of his credibility as a candidate: “Obviously, I hit a nerve because they’re fighting me,” he fired back on “Fox and Friends.”
“I can tell you, I’m their worst nightmare,” Trump added on Fox. “I am not the person that they want to run against. And they know it and I know it.”
But Trump reserved his most vituperative salvo for Cosby. In his written statement, he said: “Sadly, [Cosby] got more attention talking about me than he did on the merits of his own appearance — maybe he is not as dumb as I thought.”
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