FACT CHECK: Did Kurt Cobain Predict Trump’s Presidency?
An image shared on Facebook claimed that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain predicted Donald Trump’s presidency back in 1993.
“We’ll elect a true outsider when we fully mature,” it claims Cobain said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a business tycoon who can’t be bought and who does what’s right for the people. Someone like Donald Trump as crazy as that sounds.”
There is no evidence of Cobain ever saying this. One of Nirvana’s former managers, Danny Goldberg, wrote in 2018 that the quote is a “grotesque perversion of Kurt’s beliefs.”
As the 2016 presidential election ramped up, this Cobain quote began circulating on social media. Cobain, who died in 1994 by suicide, supposedly said this in 1993, though no further sourcing, such as a specific date, location or interview, was provided in the meme.
A search by The Daily Caller did not return any evidence that Cobain said this in 1993 or any other year.
“As one of Nirvana’s managers when Kurt was alive, I know that the quote is not only made up but it is also a grotesque perversion of Kurt’s beliefs,” Goldberg wrote in a 2018 piece for The Nation.
During his lifetime, Cobain supported Democratic politicians, according to Goldberg, including Governor Jerry Brown.
“I think all of us can be proud that Kurt’s reputation as an authentic and moral voice was so enduring that propagandists still think it is worth trying to coopt,” Goldberg wrote on the meme’s attempt to promote Trump using Cobain’s likeness.
There is no evidence of the quote appearing online before the 2016 presidential election.
In one interview with journalist Sergio Marchi, when asked about businessman Ross Perot running for president, Cobain said that he didn’t trust him, but would be interested in seeing someone who is “not a professional politician, someone who does not follow the guidelines for being a certified politician.” He did not name Trump.
In that same interview, Cobain said, “Republicans are the incarnation of Satan. I hate them. For me the word Republican is a bad word; when someone says Republican they are saying ‘cheat.’ It’s the most offensive term you can say to someone.”