WATCH: President Trump Sits Down with Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy

Trump
Getty Images/Dan Kitwood

President Trump granted a wide-ranging interview to Barstool Sports founder and president Dave Portnoy this week, drawing ire from many on social media, including Barstool Sports host Dan Katz, better known as “Big Cat.”

Portnoy, who described himself as “apolitical,” asked Trump how we “close the divide” in the country, identifying him as a “lightning rod.”

“I think it was happening, and then we got hit by the China virus,” Trump explained, listing his administration’s achievements including the “best unemployment numbers in history.”

“It was coming together and then China sent us this horrible, bad present. A real bad present. They could’ve stopped it. They should’ve stopped it,” he told Portnoy:

Later in the interview, Portnoy questioned the president’s use of Twitter, asking, “Do you ever tweet out and be like, ‘Oh man I wish I didn’t send that one out?'”

“Often. Too often,” the president said. “It used to be, in the old days, you’d write a letter, and you’d say, ‘This letter’s really big.’ You’d put it on your desk, and then you go back tomorrow and you say, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t send it.’ Right? But we don’t do that with Twitter. Right? We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls: ‘Did you really say this?'”

“You know what I find? It’s not the tweets. It’s the retweets that get you in trouble,” Trump continued.

Trump ultimately said that the platform gives him a voice to combat the “fake news”:

Portnoy also inquired about the president’s previous life, asking Trump if he had any regrets running for president when he had “the dream life beforehand.”

“I was in so many rap songs,” Trump joked, reminiscing his pre-political days, which were largely absent of mass hatred for him personally. He noted that he has “more fervor” on one side and “far more animosity” on the other side but ultimately told the Barstool Sports founder that he remains “really glad” he ran for president,

Trump and Portnoy also hit a few sports-related topics, including Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing the opening pitch for the Washington Nationals, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and national anthem protests.

“I don’t like the kneeling,” Trump said, explaining that there are other ways to show you’re “unhappy.”

“Well, I mean you can always say you can run for office, right? You become successful, you can run for a lower office, you can do things,” he continued. “But there are ways, you can get groups together and there can be friendly ways of doing it, very successful. You’re gonna have rebounds, negative rebounds if it keeps up the way it is”:

Barstool Sports host Dan Katz expressed outrage over Portnoy’s interview with the president, stating that he did not find out about it until he saw it on social media:

“It’s been a tough 12 hours or whatever it’s been trying to understand where I fit in now,” he said. “There’s only two explanations. One is they didn’t want to talk to me because I would probably be the only dissenting view, which means that when there’s tough decisions to be made and Dan might disagree we just won’t ask him so we don’t have to hear his view. That means my opinion doesn’t matter. Or two, they just said straight up his opinion doesn’t matter. Either way, my opinion does not matter at this company the way I thought it did 12 hours ago.

“Dave has always been about comedy first,” Katz continued. “Barstool is, for better or worse, it is Dave and it is me. When you think of Barstool, you think the two of us. I’m basically thrust into now talking about politics, being asked about politics, and I had zero say in it. That’s not fair. That’s not right. So I’m in a spot right now where I don’t know what to do. For the first time in my career at Barstool, I don’t know what to do.”

Portnoy, who remains a polarizing figure, made waves in May after blasting the nationwide coronavirus lockdowns, telling his 1.6 million Twitter followers, “If I’ve dedicated 20 years of my life [to my business].”

“I don’t want to start over. I’ll fucking deal with corona. You can’t just make everyone stay inside and basically start over,” he said. “It’s insane.”

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