LONDON — Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday that the popularity of Donald Trump is beyond even his understanding.
The author of "A Brief History of Time" was asked in an interview whether his knowledge of the universe meant he could explain the presumptive Republican nominee's appeal.
"I can't," Hawking replied. "He is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator."
The University of Cambridge professor, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 but went on to become one of the world's most famous scientists, gave his thoughts on Trump and more in an exclusive interview with NBC News' U.K. news partner, ITV News.
When asked if actor Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of him in the film "The Theory Of Everything" had boosted his female fan base, Hawking replied: "I had many fans before Eddie Redmayne played me."
He also underscored the imminent threat posed by climate change.
"An asteroid collision would be something against which we have no defense," he said, "but the last asteroid collision was 70 million years ago and killed the dinosaurs.
"The more immediate danger is runaway climate change. A rise in ocean temperatures will melt the ice caps and cause the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor," Hawking said.