"I understand what Kanye sees in Trump and I think it's a reaction to his personality and his marketing panache and don't-give-a-f--kness," Legend told WSJ. Magazine for their November cover story. "But my point to him was that when you wear that hat, when you appear to be endorsing him, you're endorsing his policies as well, all of his rhetoric and not just the parts you like."
Some have gone so far as to blame mental illness for his views, something Legend warns against.
"A lot of people have tried to armchair-diagnose him, but I leave it to him and his doctor to discuss what's going on in his brain," said Legend. "Clearly I disagreed with some of the things he was saying, and I was worried that his saying it might empower some of the wrong forces, might be really demoralizing for people who looked up to him and thought of him as a leader."
While Kanye has expressed his presidential aspirations in the past, Legend told the publication that he doesn't have any immediate plans to run for office. But he's also not ruling anything out either.
"People ask me if I want to run for office, but I don't," he said. "Maybe when I'm 60 -- who knows what the world is going to be then? -- but I love my life now and what I get to do. Part of me does want those things -- when I hear things our leaders are saying, I'm like, 'If it were me, I would do this, this and this.' But I would not want to go to work every day, even at the Capitol Building or the White House. I just couldn't see it as the life I would want to live."
Even if Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen -- who is actually blocked by Trump on Twitter -- aren't in the White House, the "Love Me Now" singer said he will continue to advocate for education and prison reform.
"So many of the laws that affect criminal justice and education are determined in state legislatures," he said. "So much of the practice of adjudicating and sentencing is done by district attorneys. It makes you laser-focused on the local and the state level, because we definitely don't have a partner in the White House that will do the right thing."
"I still speak out against Trump as a citizen, as a voter, as someone who's got a national voice," he continued. "But a lot of the activism we do is focused on local and state."
The November 2018 issue of WSJ. Magazine hits newsstands November 10.