By Brian Ives 

Country legend Trace Adkins came by‘s studios to talk about his new single, “Lit,” and his other recent song, “Jesus and Jones,” both of which will be on his forthcoming album, his first for Wheelhouse Records, an imprint of Broken Bow Records.

But the former Celebrity Apprentice winner and noted conservative was also game to discuss presumptive Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Trump is Trump, man. The thing that I tell people about Trump is: it’s not an act. Whatever you think about him, the persona that you see, it’s real. He acts that way whether the camera’s on or not. If you’re sitting in his office, or you’re riding in his car with him, or whatever, he’s like that all the time, man. It’s not an act. The arrogance, or the confidence, or whatever you want to call it. ‘Everything I have is the best,’ that’s there all the time.”

Related: Trace Adkins Talks ‘Lit’: ‘You’ve Got To Have Levity’

“I remember one day I was working on The Apprentice, and I just had lunch and he asked me what I had for lunch. I told him I was having a ham sandwich from the deli down the street. He goes, ‘You should come to my golf course in New Jersey. Best ham sandwich in the world!’ [Laughs]”

He says that they’ve maintained a good relationship over the years. “He’ll send invitations to me to the opening of his new hotel in Dubai, or whatever. It’s like, ‘OK, dude, you know how much it’s going to cost me to go there?’ But he’s been kind to me, I’ve got no problem with Donald Trump. I like him, I find him charming. When he’s not on camera, he’s still an alpha, but he’s engaging and funny. I tell people all the time, I like him, I got no problem with him.”

In Atkins’ 2008 book, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneckhe discussed the need for border security, a sentiment that has been echoed loudly and often by Trump. In the book, Atkins uses the metaphor of America as a gated community; in this metaphor, the illegal immigrant is a guy named “Bubba,” who moves into the community because the gate was open. “He finds an open spot of ground somewhere and parks his trailer. Presto! Bubba now lives in the nice gated community with the tennis courts, the golf course and the pool minus the scum. Plus, Bubba’s delighted to live under the protection of the security guards who are supposed to be watching the gate. Pretty soon he’s got cars sitting up on blocks in the yard that he hasn’t mowed in six months. His naked kids are running wild all around the neighborhood terrorizing the neighborhood soccer team.”

So what does he think of Donald Trump’s idea to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico? “I think we need border security,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s a wall, or if it’s drones, or whatever. I think we need to have secure borders. We all have doors on our houses.”

And he still feels his “gated community” metaphor is apt. “I’ve been around the world, I’ve been to a lot of countries. This one’s really cool. When I leave, I can’t wait to get home. You can look at this country that way: this is a nice gated community.”

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