According to The Hill, Smith made the remarks about the former president on Monday (April 10) during the Semafor Media Summit.
The ESPN host shared that he used to have a good relationship with Trump as they enjoyed talking sports at events that they both attended.
“I knew Trump before he ran for the presidency. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. He was a huge sports fan. He used to throw a lot of events at … you know, at his casinos and stuff like that, and I genuinely liked them,” Smith said Monday.
“I didn’t know who this guy was running for president. I think he’s changed, but I will tell you this: I think when people call him racist and stuff like that, I’ve never thought of Trump that way," he continued. "It’s not, he’s not against Black people. He’s against old things not named Trump.”
Smith said he holds conservative views, so he's open to voting for Republicans. However, he's “beyond voting for Trump” not because of his former president's politics but because of his “statesmanship." The First Take personality went on to say that the president should be someone who brings the country together rather than divides it.
Trump announced his third presidential campaign in November before becoming to the first U.S. president to be criminally charged earlier this month.