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Piers Morgan compares Donald Trump to a 'right-wing Richard Branson' while defending Presidential candidate

The journalist and TV presenter claimed Mr Trump would be 'more moderate' in the White House

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 02 March 2016 08:55 GMT
As a presidential candidate a decade after Trump Mortgages, Trump says he would use the skills that made him successful in real estate to fix Washington.
As a presidential candidate a decade after Trump Mortgages, Trump says he would use the skills that made him successful in real estate to fix Washington. (Getty Images)

Piers Morgan has dubbed Donald Trump a “right-wing Richard Branson” while attempting to allay fears over the prospect of the billionaire property tycoon becoming US President.

Mr Morgan, who appeared with the Republican candidate on American television series the Celebrity Apprentice, said the pair have known each other for a decade and speak “regularly” on the phone.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the journalist and presenter, said he was “very impressed” with Mr Trump, who he described as smart, warm and in possession of a sense of perspective and the ability to “play people like a concert conductor”.

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“When I see Trump being more outrageous in some of the things that he’s saying and doing now, I think he’s just doing that just to grab media attention and I think the reality of a Trump Presidency, if it came to it, would be an awful lot more moderate,” Mr Morgan said.

“I would treat almost everything he says in this campaign cycle with a lot of scepticism.

“He is, like all campaigners in every election, saying a lot of stuff purely designed to get votes.”

The former Daily Mirror editor said he did not believe some of Mr Trump’s most controversial claims, including that he would temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the US and build a wall along the border with Mexico and force the neighbouring country to pay for it.

Mr Morgan acknowledged that the statements have been “very offensive” but put them down to a deliberate strategy to dominate media coverage

“I personally wouldn’t vote for Trump, however as a Republican candidate successful in this election he’s tapped into the popular mood about a number of hot button issues,” he added.

“(If you) look at a lot of Trump’s businesses…you can probably slightly relax a little bit about how outrageous he would be.

“I read Trump’s going to be the new Hitler and I find that an absolutely facile way of looking at a guy who’s basically a right-wing Richard Branson.”

Sir Richard Branson has not yet commented on the unexpected comparison (Rex)

Sir Richard, founder of the Virgin Group, is also a billionaire but is known for supporting humanitarian initiatives and opposing climate change, which Mr Trump has denied exists.

Addressing the ever more likely possibility of a President Trump in the White House, Mr Morgan claimed he would be valuable as “one of the great deal-makers in the world”, adding that he would “pay good money” to see him in a room with Vladimir Putin.

The discussion came after Mr Trump swept to victory on Super Tuesday, the most important day in months of US primaries to select Republican and Democrat Presidential candidates.

Both he and Hillary Clinton won at least seven of the 11 states voting, putting them far ahead of their nearest rivals.

The result increased the likelihood of a Trump-Clinton showdown in the November election, offering voters what would likely be the starkest contrast in presidential candidates seen for many years.

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