Ted Nugent weighed in on his relationship with the Secret Service on Sunday, stating that he is now on "even better" terms with the agency after being investigated for controversial comments he made about President Obama.
In an interview with the Arizona Republic ahead of a concert in Phoenix, Nugent declined to answer specific questions about the controversy, which began when the rock star told NRA supporters earlier this month that he would be "dead or in jail" next year if Obama was reelected. He did, however, say that he remains on good terms with the Secret Service.
"Very much so, even better now," Nugent said of his relationship with the agency following the investigation.
Nugent also spoke about his friendship with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is currently facing a federal trial after refusing to adjust policing practices that, according to a Justice Department investigation into the Arizona sheriff's department, discriminate against Latinos.
When asked if he planned to see Arpaio while he was in town, Nugent responded enthusiastically, "Oh, hell yeah." He continued, "Hope to perform my honorable Maricopa County sheriff deputy duties while in town with America's top sheriff."
Nugent also explained why he became friends with the outspoken sheriff, detailing the pair's shared values.
"We believe with all our heart and soul that law and order, goodwill and decency as driven by the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Ten Commandments and Golden Rule provide the greatest quality of life on Earth, and we will never back down from these self-evident truths," Nugent said.
In addition to the Secret Service scrutiny, Nugent has become the subject of public ire since delivering his anti-Obama screed. Although Nugent has defended his comments and said they were intended metaphorically, his remarks were widely panned. They also led to his removal from a concert lineup at military base Fort Knox.
Here's a look back at other controversial comments Nugent has made:
"If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent said to NRA supporters in April 2012. "If you can't galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for Mitt Romney, we're done." Nugent added: "We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."
During an interview in 2008, Nugent had harsh words for undocumented immigrants. "In an unauthorized entry, armed like they are right now, invading our country, I'd like to shoot 'em dead," Nugent told Fox News' Sean Hannity.
After sparking controversy with his anti-Obama screed that earned him a Secret Service investigation, Nugent doubled down on his remarks during an interview with radio host Dana Loesch. "I'm a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally," he said. "And there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth."
"Wasserman Schultz is such a brain-dead, soulless idiot," Nugent told Dana Loesch after the Florida congresswoman criticized his anti-Obama comments. "I could not be more proud that this soulless, heartless idiot feebly attempts to find fault with Ted Nugent, because I am on the right track and she just encourages me to stand stronger."
During a 2011 interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Nugent outlined his views on gun control. "Anybody that wants to disarm me can drop dead," Nugent said. "Anybody that wants to make me unarmed and helpless, we're gonna literally create the proven places that where more innocents are killed called 'gun-free zones,' we're gonna beat you. We're gonna vote you out of office, or suck on my machine gun, you can take it whichever way you want."
While on stage at a 2008 concert, Nugent held up machine guns and shared his thoughts on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. "Hey, Obama," he said, guns in hand. "You might wanna suck on one of these, you punk." He continued, "Hillary, you might wanna ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch."
In 1990, Nugent caused a stir when he commented on racial segregation in South Africa to Detroit Free Press magazine. "Apartheid isn't that cut and dry," Nugent said. "All men are not created equal. The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man. I mean that with no disrespect. I say that with great respect. I love them because I'm one of them. They are still people of the earth, but they are different. They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands ... These are different people. You give 'em toothpaste, they f---ing eat it ... I hope they don't become civilized. They're way ahead of the game."