- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic clarified his comments Wednesday after coming under fire for lauding President Trump’s speech threatening to deploy the military on U.S. streets.

Mr. Novoselic, who played bass for the rock group until its disbandment in 1994, offered an explanation amid facing criticism for having praised the president’s recent address.

“To clarify a few things: As an avowed independent, I don’t endorse a major party or candidate. And it feels insane to have to say this, but I don’t support fascism, and I don’t support an authoritarian state. I believe in a civilized society and that we all have to work toward that,” Mr. Novoselic posted on his personal Facebook post.

Mr. Novoselic, 55, ignited on a firestorm earlier in the week after gushing about Mr. Trump’s speech Monday in which the president threatened to use the military against Americans.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said he was mobilizing the military in case federal troops are needed in U.S. cities where protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer a week earlier, have descended into riots and resulted in a rash of violent crimes such as acts of arson and looting.

Reacting on his Facebook to Mr. Trump’s speech afterward, Mr. Novoselic said the president “knocked it out of the park” and made note of the president’s “strong and direct” tone.

“Never mind the legal details that few understand — Trump said he would stop the violence and this speaks to many,” Mr. Novoselic posted about the president’s address.

Mr. Novoselic subsequently faced a backlash from his followers on social media over the remarks and on Tuesday his accounts on both Facebook and Twitter abruptly went dark.

Other rock musicians were among those who publicly spoke out after Mr. Novoselic after his original posting praising Mr. Trump’s speech.

“I’d like to apologise on behalf of all bass players out there for Krist Novoselic,” Primal Scream’s Simone Marie posted on Twitter.

“Oh, Krist, no…,” R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills tweeted from his own account.

Mr. Novoselic co-founded Nirvana in the late 1980s with Kurt Cobain, and the band became a household name the next decade for hits starting with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in 1991.

Nirvana dissolved following Cobain’s death in 1994, but Mr. Novoselic has remained active in the years since as a musician and otherwise. In addition to currently performing in the group Giants in the Trees, he is a vocal advocate for electoral reform and spent more than a decade chairing FairVote, a nonprofit group dedicated to the cause.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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