Trump pays tribute to Aretha Franklin by claiming she was his employee


Trump found a way to make the death of music legend Aretha Franklin all about himself.

On Thursday, the world mourned the loss of legendary singer Aretha Franklin — but Trump remarked on her passing in a truly bizarre and self-serving way.

"I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well," Trump said during a Thursday morning Cabinet meeting. "She worked for me on numerous occasions."

The reference to Franklin having "worked for" Trump perplexed many reporters, who surmised that Trump must have been referring to a handful of performances she gave at Trump properties over the years. Franklin attended the grand opening of a Trump property in 1997, where she was photographed with Trump.

Trump's claim that he "knew her well" is equally suspect. According to Factbase, Trump has only mentioned Franklin's name once in public, tweeting a birthday wish to her in 2012.

While Trump was busy making racist attacks on President Obama during the 2012 presidential race, Aretha Franklin was campaigning to help Obama get reelected. She also memorably sang "My country tis of thee" at Obama's first inauguration.

But when Franklin was asked if she would sing at Trump's inauguration, she replied "That's a very good question. ... We'll see."

She did not end up performing at Trump's inauguration.

The soul legend did perform at inaugural events for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as well as Obama. President George W. Bush awarded Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.

Trump's ego knows few boundaries. He apparently thinks so highly of himself that he considers it a compliment to reduce Aretha Franklin's incredible life and legacy to a few scattered performances she gave at Trump venues.

That's no way to show respect.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.