Samuel L. Jackson on ‘The View’: Trump Is Running for Popularity, Not President

On ‘The View’ Thursday morning, Samuel L. Jackson dismissed Donald Trump as a fake presidential candidate.

Fred Lee/ABC

Samuel L. Jackson has no time for Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, the actor inadvertently found himself in a Twitter war with the then-long shot Republican nominee after he accused him of cheating in golf during an interview with United Airlines’ inflight magazine. When the hosts of The View tried to goad him into going after Trump on Thursday, he did his best to avoid taking the bait.

“We talk a lot about Donald Trump here,” co-host Sunny Hostin said midway through the segment, to which Jackson replied, “Really? Why?”

When Hostin laughed nervously and said, “we can't help ourselves,” Jackson added, “I mean, maybe if we stop talking about him, people will stop dealing with him, how about that? He has gotten more free publicity.” As Joy Behar pointed out, “He’s running for president.”

“Well, let's act like he's not. Let's talk about the person who really is running for president,” Jackson said, apparently referring to Hillary Clinton. “He's just running for popularity. C’mon, just let it go.”

The hosts did not let it go, pressing Jackson to explain why he accused the candidate of cheating at golf. “Why did I accuse him? Because he did!” he exclaimed. After Jackson’s comments first became public, Trump tweeted that he not only didn’t know the actor, but didn’t remember ever playing golf with him and was “not a fan.” But as Jackson mentioned on The View, Trump later said he didn’t like Jackson’s golf swing, calling it “not athletic.”

“Either you don't know me or you know me,” he said. “Which one is it?”

Earlier in the discussion, Jackson spoke about the lifetime achievement honor he received at the BET Awards this past weekend. He said his whole career could be traced back to the special Best Supporting Actor award he received at Cannes in 1991 for his performance in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, thanking Whoopi Goldberg, who was on the festival’s jury that year, for helping to make it happen.

“That performance stunned me,” Goldberg told Jackson. “I don't know if they told you, but when the movie was over, I stood up and i said, ‘Who is that kid? Who is that guy?’ Because it was so amazing.”

Jackson also shouted out actor Jesse Williams, who delivered the speech of the night on Sunday when he received BET’s Humanitarian Award. “I felt like I was listening to Rap Brown and Stokey Carmichael again,” he said. “It was overwhelmingly satisfying and chilling. Those are the speeches we heard that made you go, ‘OK, I got to get up and go do something. I can't just talk about this with somebody and I can't sit around and not do something.’”

“Get active,” he urged young people who want to see change. “Get up and get on your feet and get doing it.”