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Trump Inauguration Announcer: I Didn’t Buy My Way Into Position

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(CNN) — The man who will officially announce President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration parade denied there was any tension between him and Charlie Brotman, the man who had served as the announcer for every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957.

“There really isn’t the type of friction being portrayed by some fringe outlets,” Steve Ray told CNN’s Carol Costello Monday. “I absolutely adore and respect Charlie Brotman. He’s an icon here in D.C.”

Brotman made headlines for his reaction after learning via email that the Trump transition team had instead chosen Ray, a 56-year-old broadcaster, to voice this year’s inauguration parade.

Ray also pushed back at some other allegations: “A lot of people are saying I bought my way into this election,” he told Costello, explaining that it wasn’t something he “went after dramatically.”

Instead, he said, it was “being in the right place at the right time in front of the right people.”

“Being in the Trump motorcade 18 times, I had a lot of exposure to the senior staff who had said they were going to streamline and modernize this presentation,” he told Costello.

He stressed that the announcer job was an “apolitical, nonpartisan” position.

Ray agreed that the Trump transition team could have done a better job in relaying the decision to Brotman, and said that he pushed them to “come up with some kind of honor” for him.

“That’s how it came to fruition that he is named ‘announcer chairman emeritus,'” he said.

Ray participated in a dress rehearsal for the inauguration Sunday, describing the event as “terrific.” He said the parade will last about an hour and a half.