Kanye West may run for President; meets Trump in White House
Washington: African-American rapper Kanye West met President Donald Trump at the White House here where he said that wearing the ‘Make America Great Again’ cap made him feel like “Superman”.
“There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman,” said West after his meeting with the President in the Oval Office on Thursday.
Trump’s campaign logo was ‘Make America Great Again’ which he still endorses in rallies and meetings.
West also said that the President was on a “hero’s journey”.
“Let’s stop worrying about the future, all we have is today,” West said, commenting on his own presidential ambitions.
“Trump is on his hero’s journey right now. He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-f***r like me (supporting him).”
The meeting had been billed by the White House as one centred on urban revitalisation, workforce training, African-American unemployment, potential future clemencies and crime in Chicago.
West told reporters in the Oval Office that he had been asked to speak with the President about the detriments of applying stop-and-frisk policing policies in Chicago.
The President has frequently praised the programme, telling a group of law enforcement last week that he has urged the city of Chicago to “strongly consider stop-and-frisk”.
Trump in response said that he was “totally open” to an alternative to stop-and-frisk.
“I’m totally open. If we can do it a different way, Kanye, I’m totally open but they all, we all agree that we have to do something,” Trump told the rapper.
The President hailed West as “a terrific guy”.
“You know, he loves what we’re doing for African-American jobs, for so many different things. Median income, as you see, at an all-time high. Poverty level at the best rate, meaning the lowest rate so far. And Kanye is a smart guy. And he sees that,” said Trump.
West also discussed clemency for Larry Hoover, who is serving life in prison in a Supermax facility, calling him a “beacon” and “a living statue”.
Hoover is alleged to have run a deadly Chicago gang called the the Gangster Disciples and oversaw a $100 million-a-year illegal drug business from jail.
West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, has been to the White House twice in recent months to discuss criminal justice reform and the clemency process.
The reality star and entrepreneur was also instrumental in securing a commutation for Alice Marie Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence over non-violent drug charges.
Also present in Thursday’s meeting were Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner and Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who has previously discussed issues facing the African-American community with the President.
This was the rapper’s second meeting with Trump since the 2016 election; he previously visited the then-President-elect at Trump Tower in December 2016.
West recently made waves by wearing Trump’s signature ‘Make America Great Again’ hat during an appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and delivering a pro-Trump speech after the show went off the air.
He has previously said he would consider a presidential run in the future, and told a crowd in San Jose in 2016 that he didn’t vote in the election, but “would have voted for Trump”.