AUGUSTA, Ga. — One week after Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be indicted on criminal charges, golf legend Jack Nicklaus said he has not ruled out supporting Trump once again.
Nicklaus, speaking at Augusta National Thursday morning after fulfilling his role as one of three honorary Masters starters, was asked about his vocal support for Trump in 2020 — and if he’d do so again.
“Well, depends on who is running, doesn’t it?” Nicklaus said. “Well, we’ll have to see what happens.
“You know, I’ve always supported who I thought was the best candidate. I think Donald Trump was the last time. Whether Donald will be this time or not, I don’t know. We’ll wait and see.”
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Trump lost his bid to serve a second term in 2020, but he has yet to acknowledge the defeat to President Joe Biden, continuing to spread falsehoods about a stolen election. Trump, who lives in Palm Beach, was arrested Tuesday in New York and pleaded not guilty after being arraigned on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with hush-money payments.
Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Nicklaus, who lives in North Palm Beach, added that he doesn’t brand himself as a Republican.
“I like to sort of brand myself as being able to think freely, and I voted for a lot of Democrats through the years as well as Republicans, and I tried to pick the person I think would do the best job for our country,” he said. “And we’ve got a year and a half to wait for that to see what’s going to happen.”
Nicklaus, Jupiter Island’s Gary Player and Tom Watson served as the honorary starters, each hitting a tee shot on the first hole before the start of Thursday’s first round. Nicklaus, 83, has won a record six Green Jackets. Player, 87, has won the Masters three times. Watson, 73, has won twice.
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