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Charlamagne tha God on Trump, Biden: ‘Threat to democracy’ or ‘uninspiring candidate’

Charlamagne tha God has built an influential career as a popular radio host, New York Times bestselling author and comedian — interviewing politicians and pop stars alike with a blend of charisma and blunt questions.

He was just as candid in a new interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” telling co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday that “nobody is inspired” by the 2024 presidential election and “nobody wants to see” the likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Charlamagne (né Lenard McKelvey) has long been outspoken about U.S. politics. He’s a harsh critic of the Biden administration — calling for President Biden, an “uninspiring candidate,” to step aside to allow other Democrats to run — but he’s an even harsher critic of Trump, whom he calls “absolutely a threat to democracy.”

“This is the first time in my life when people say things like, you know, this person is a threat to democracy. It’s absolutely true,” Charlamagne told Karl. “And it’s mind-boggling to me that nobody is taking it as serious as I feel like they should.”

“The Breakfast Club” on iHeartRadio, which Charlamagne co-hosts, reaches some six million monthly listeners and has become a frequent campaign stop for politicians from both parties who seek to appeal to its younger, diverse audience.

Those appearances have a knack for creating viral moments and grabbing headlines, such as Hillary Clinton’s self-professed love of hot sauce in 2016 and then-presumptive Democratic nominee Biden’s 2020 comments about how Black voters should back him over Trump.

“My audience is America,” Charlamagne said on “This Week.”

He told Karl that he sees his role this year as speaking openly about the problems with both Democrats and Republicans, though he stressed that it’s Trump whom he feels poses the greater risk.

PHOTO: Charlamagne Tha God is interviewed by ABC News' Jon Karl.

Charlamagne Tha God is interviewed by ABC News’ Jon Karl.

ABC News

“I saw you describe this campaign that we’re headed into as ‘a race between, the cowards, the crooks and the couch,'” Karl noted.

“Yeah, the crooks are the Republicans, the cowards are the Democrats because they don’t fight hard enough on anything and the couch is voter apathy,” Charlamagne said. “And right now, right now it feels like the couch is going to win.”

That’s because Americans aren’t inspired by Biden, Charlamagne said — “he has no main character energy at all, none” — and should be leaning more on his surrogates, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Pennsylvania Gov Josh Shapiro who are “more inspiring than him, who are more charismatic than him.”

Karl pushed back on that sentiment — asking if it’s Biden’s age or persona that causes Charlamagne to feel that way. But Charlamagne attributed what he says is Biden’s lack of inspiration to his low energy, noting that Trump is only four years younger but “he just comes off a lot more youthful.”

“And I always say this about him: Donald Trump seems more sincere about his lies than Joe Biden does about his truth,” Charlamagne said.

In 2019, Charlamagne appeared at a campaign event with then-candidate Harris, about a week before she suspended her presidential campaign. He went on to endorse the Biden-Harris ticket in 2020 but said he was doing so out of support for Harris — not Biden.

“And has she met your expectations?” Karl asked on Sunday.

“Yeah, no, she hasn’t … but I don’t think it’s too late for her to pivot,” Charlamagne said.

He said he’d like to see Harris step out of the traditional constraints of the vice presidency, noting a “new era” calls for “new jack solutions” and that as the first woman of color in the role, she’s uniquely positioned to talk about specific issues.

“There are things that she could say that I feel like, you know, he [Biden] can’t,” Charlamagne said.

“I want to see her prosecute the case against Donald Trump in this country. I feel like she could go out there and really let the American people, you know, know what’s going on,” he said. “I’d like to see her going on outlets like Fox News. I’d like to see her going in there and mixing it up.”

His criticism of the Biden administration is in line with recent comments on his radio show, podcast and other television appearances. Politico reported last month that Charlamagne has drawn the ire of the White House, which he acknowledged to Karl.

“I think that’s the stupidest s— ever,” Charlamagne said. “Because I feel like you should be able to criticize whoever your elected official is, right?”

“And even if I do criticize them, I’m criticizing them because of what I see coming up in November. I see what we’re facing,” he said. “So what I’m saying to them is, where is the sense of urgency? You can’t keep saying that there’s a threat to democracy and democracy as we know it is going to be gone, but not act like it.”

PHOTO: Charlamagne The God is interviewed by ABC News' Jon Karl.

Charlamagne The God is interviewed by ABC News’ Jon Karl.

ABC News

Charlamagne is adamant that the country would be far worse off with a Trump presidency because he said Trump incited a “coup of this country” on Jan. 6 — which Trump denies — and nominated Supreme Court justices who helped reverse Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of abortion access.

“But when you have a candidate like President Biden who the polls are saying had the lowest approval rating ever and he’d lose to a general election to Trump — that’s scary,” Charlamagne said. “That’s where these conversations are coming from [among Democrats], where they’re like, you might need to step aside and put somebody else in there.”

Despite his concerns, Charlemagne said he won’t be endorsing anyone in the 2024 election — instead, he’ll be honest with his listeners and viewers about what he’s “seeing.”

“And what I’m seeing is democracy really on the brink, right?” he said. “I would tell my listeners exactly what I’m about to say right now: For years, they’ve told us that these people are threats to democracy. This person is absolutely a threat to democracy.”

“That sounds like an endorsement, I mean, it sounds like you’re saying endorse not Donald Trump, which, as you’ve said, it’s going to be Biden,” Karl said.

“Well I don’t think that’s an endorsement,” Charlamagne replied.

He told Karl he’s trying to be honest about Democrats, because he feels if you “lie to people about Democrats, they won’t believe you when you tell them the truth about Republicans.”

“So if I lie to people about what I see with Joe Biden, they’re not going to believe me when I tell them the truth about what I see with Donald Trump,” he said. “So all you got to do at this point, and I hate to say this, but why do we keep having to say this? Pick your poison. One poison might send you to the hospital for a couple of days. The other one will absolutely kill you.”

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