Donald Trump retweeted a quote from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini but when asked about it said he doesn’t want to be associated with fascists, “I want to be associated with interesting quotes.”
In an interview Sunday with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” Trump said, “[I]t’s okay to know it’s Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s okay– it’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote.”
The tweet reads: “@ilduce2016: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” – @realDonaldTrump #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.”
Todd, noting it was “a famous Mussolini quote,” told Trump, “You retweeted it, do you like the quote? Did you know it was Mussolini?”
“Sure, it’s okay to know it’s Mussolini,” Trump said. “I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else. It’s certainly a very interesting quote… It’s a very interesting quote and people can talk about it.”
Todd followed up, “Do you want to be associated with a fascist?”
“No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes. And people you know, I have almost 14 million people between Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and all of that,” Trump said. “And we do interesting things. And I sent it out. And certainly, hey, it got your attention didn’t it?”
According to Gawker, the Twitter account @ilduce2016 is actually a Twitter bot created by Gawker’s Ashley Feinberg to tweet excerpts from the late dictator’s writings and speeches.