Today in social media battles no one saw coming last month: Donald Trump has hit back at Neil Young after the rock star complained that his 1989 song “Rockin’ in the Free World” was used during Trump’s presidential candidacy announcement.
“A few months ago Neil Young came to my office looking for $$ on an audio deal & called me last week to go to his concert. Wow!” Trump wrote on Twitter, before adding in another tweet that Young was a “total hypocrite.”
In a Facebook post earlier this month, Young addressed the meeting he took with Trump and the photo of the two of them together. “A picture of me with this candidate was also circulated in conjunction with this announcement but it was a photograph taken during a meeting when I was trying to raise funds for Pono, my online high resolution music service,” Young wrote.
Trump announced his intentions to run for President of the United States on June 16, and Young was quick to distance himself from the event. “Had I been asked to allow my music to be used for a candidate — I would have said no,” he wrote.
“Through a license agreement with ASCAP, Mr. Trump’s campaign paid for and obtained the legal right to use Neil Young’s recording of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ at today’s event,” a spokesperson for Trump told Variety on June 16. “Nevertheless, we won’t be using it again — there are plenty of songs to choose from. Despite Neil’s differing political views, Mr. Trump likes Neil very much.”