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donald default Ivan Yates says he would have voted for Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton

“I honestly believe that the entirety of Ireland, and particularly the media, are completely Democrat-centric here in their view of America politics and that there is a whole other story.”

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Broadcaster Ivan Yates.

Broadcaster Ivan Yates.

Broadcaster Ivan Yates.

Ivan Yates confesses that if he had been living in America he would have voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.

But the broadcaster also admits he now is now “glad to see the back of Trump”.

Former TD turned media star Yates interviewed Donald Trump on Newstalk when he visited Clare in early in 2016 before he was elected.

“My attitude is that first of all he won and that was fine,” points out Yates, who also spent nearly four months in America on the election trail in 2016.

“I think that the worst of Trump came after last year’s election.

"He didn’t handle himself at all well in terms of accepting the result and then the whole episode with the Capitol, he went from bad to worse.”

He adds: “I honestly believe that the entirety of Ireland, and particularly the media, are completely Democrat-centric here in their view of America politics and that there is a whole other story.”

Asked if he would have voted for Trump, he replies: “Put it like this. I certainly wouldn’t have voted for Hillary Clinton. In a binary choice then, I would by default have voted for Trump.”

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Donald Trump could still face legal action over his role in the Capitol riot (AP)

Donald Trump could still face legal action over his role in the Capitol riot (AP)

Donald Trump could still face legal action over his role in the Capitol riot (AP)

But he stresses he took Trump at face value back then.

“At the end of the day, who was to know, particularly somebody who didn’t have a political background, how they are going to turn out,” he argues.

Despite once bigging-up Trump for an ad for his radio show, he is now more cautious.

“I regarded him as an actor on the stage,” he recalls.

“I was never for or against him, but I found it fantastic to wind up people, who took it so seriously, who never lived in America, were never going to live in America, but got desperately heated about Trump.

“I’m happy to see the back of him, absolutely.

"Trump to me in my previous incarnation would be the same as Boris, the same as Leo. These are big players, that’s where the banter is, that’s where the thing is.”

He doubts we will see Trump run again in 2022.

“No I wouldn’t, in fact I have quite serious doubts,” he confesses. “I’m quite ageist in my approach, I don’t think any President should be as old as Biden or him.

"Out of the guts of 400 million Americans, they [should] find someone of a younger disposition, because the truth of it is your energy levels go down in your 70s.”

Yates is currently presenting the Green Room on Virgin Media One on Friday nights, a Paddy Power-sponsored show in which sports stars are interviewed for half an hour, with a dash of comedic impersonations.

“We have done seven shows now,” he explains. “What I found really interesting is that with the relaxed conversational tone of it.

"You have people like Ronan O’Gara who comes straight out with saying ‘my aim is to be head coach of the Ireland ruby team and the sooner the better'.

“Then you have people like Ronnie Whelan saying ‘well in Italia 90 Big Jack was a bully, he wouldn’t even meet me'.

“Mourinho would be a dream guest, also Jim Gavin would be a fascinating person to get, the whole story of him and Dublin hasn’t come out yet.”

He also fired a pot shot at his RTE rivals.

“We’re trying to do a bit of light relief, where you can relax with a can or bottle in this awful third lockdown, and then you see the Late Late show with their misery porn, bereavement porn,” he says.

Living in Wexford, Yates had to move to Wales for a period after he declared himself bankrupt, but gets a pension of over €73,000 a year due to his Dail career.

“I’m the luckiest man in Ireland and very appreciative of it,” he concurs.

“Stepping back from full time media in the last 12 months at 61 years of age, I couldn’t have done it without the pension.”

• The Green Room, Virgin Media One Fridays at 9pm

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