Hours after Donald Trump called nuclear weapons “the single greatest threat that the world has,” basketball coaching legend Bobby Knight told a crowd Thursday in Indiana that the GOP presidential frontrunner would “have the guts to drop the bomb” like former President Harry Truman.
Standing side by side with Trump, Knight praised Truman as “one of the three great Presidents.” The former Indiana University basketball coach specifically praised Truman for dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan, which he said Trump would be willing to do as well, according to Politico.
“Harry Truman, with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944 saved, saved millions of American lives,” Knight said, as quoted by Politico. “And that’s what Harry Truman did. And he became one of the three great presidents of the United States. And here’s a man who would do the same thing, because he’s going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States.”
Knight’s comments came after Trump said in an interview earlier Thursday that he would not rule out using nuclear arms against the Islamic State terror group.
“I will be the last” to resort to nuclear weapons, Trump said on NBC’s “Today Show.” “But I will never, ever rule it out.”
At the Indiana rally, Knight drew more parallels between Trump and Truman, saying they were both criticized for not being “presidential.”
“We gotta talk about this presidential crap just for a moment here,” Knight said. “I’ll tell you who they said wasn’t presidential. I don’t even know what the hell presidential means, but they told him he wasn’t presidential. And that guy they told all these people that wanted to say, you’re not presidential, that guy was Harry Truman.”
Trump seemed pleased with Knight’s praise, calling him “a national treasure.”