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Bono says working with Trump would be his biggest challenge, 'by far'

FILE PHOTO - President Bush and political activist and entertainer Bono, right, shake hands after Bono spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in Washington. The U2 lead singer and activist says working with a Trump administration in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases would be his biggest challenge - by far.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Ron Edmonds
September 13, 2016 - 8:00 PM

OTTAWA - U2 lead singer and activist Bono says working with a Trump administration to fight extreme poverty would be his biggest challenge — "by far."

Bono has developed close partnerships with Republicans in the past, including George W. Bush, but he told The Canadian Press he's still trying to figure out how he would deal with the party's current nominee, Donald Trump.

The Irish rocker, who has lobbied lawmakers of different stripes in Washington for years, is co-founder of ONE Campaign. It's an international organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and preventable diseases, especially in Africa.

"The whole point of ONE is it's bi-partisan and this would be the biggest challenge for me, by far," Bono said when asked about Trump in an interview ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday in Montreal.

"But it's not going to change my respect for the Republican party or anything, it's really his hijacking of it."

Bono said he has lots of sympathy for Trump supporters, whose concerns include America's shrinking middle class, cannot be ignored.

"But this jingoism and this hate-filled speech is just not helpful," he said. "I'm just figuring out live what I think about him, so I can't give you a definitive answer."

Bono, who has praised Bush's work to help fight AIDS in Africa, added that Trump represents a "special category."

"I'm not sure he's a Republican," Bono said in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

"I have huge respect for the GOP and the party of Abraham Lincoln. Some of my best friends in development are Republicans in the United States."

On Saturday, Bono will appear at a Montreal event alongside Trudeau, Microsoft's Bill Gates, actress Danai Gurira and others to discuss how poverty disproportionately affects women and girls.

The meeting will follow a conference, hosted by Trudeau, for the replenishment of the Global Fund, which is an international partnership focused on eradicating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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