Vince Vaughn addresses backlash over video of him shaking hands with Trump

Vince Vaughn addresses backlash over Trump handshake video (Getty)
Vince Vaughn addresses backlash over Trump handshake video (Getty)

Vince Vaughn has addressed backlash over a video that saw him shaking hands with Donald Trump at a college football game.

In January, the Wedding Crashers star attended the National Championship Game in New Orleans, where he sat in a private box alongside the president and first lady Melania Trump.

During the game, journalist Timothy Burke captured footage of Vaughn interacting with the president and shaking his hand, which later prompted criticism of the actor on social media.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Vaughn, a self-described libertarian, defended himself from the backlash, explaining that he is “cordial” to all of the politicians he meets.

“In my career I’ve met a lot of politicians who I’ve always been cordial to; I’ve met Nancy Pelosi and was cordial to her as well," Vaughn told the outlet, adding that he also met Democratic strategist James Carville, who had a cameo in Old School, at the same game.

“It was the only time I’ve ever met him. We said hello. He was very personable,” he said while laughing. “I didn’t get into policies.”

The 50-year-old also said he believes the backlash and calls for him to be cancelled were from a small per centage of people - and that most people don’t “take that stuff as seriously”.

“I think people are more charged than ever about these things," he said. "But I don’t think most people take that stuff as seriously as the small per centage that’s making noise about it. I was raised with the idea that you could have different likes and beliefs and you should respect and defend that in other people, not shout it down. The people you disagree with the most, you should stand up for their right to do that."

When the video circulated, many took it as proof that the actor was a supporter of the president.

“I’m not angry about Vince Vaughn, just profoundly disappointed,” one person wrote on Twitter. “And I want nothing more to do with him. Once upon a time I found him quite entertaining. Not anymore.”

However, according to Vaughn, he has only ever supported one candidate, Rand Paul.

“The only candidate I ever supported is [former libertarian presidential nominee] Ron Paul,” he told The Times. “I don’t have a party that I support and endorse. In fact, for me sometimes it’s difficult to find a candidate that you feel is philosophically consistent and not just going along with whoever is funding their particular party.”

“That’s as much as I’ll get into it at this point,” he concluded.

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Vince Vaughn facing backlash after shaking Trump’s hand at event