Kanye defends backing Trump during lunch event at White House
October 12 2018 12:10 AM
Trump speaks while West listens during a meeting in the Oval Office.


Rapper Kanye West, with a stream of consciousness speech in the Oval Office and a burst of profanity, has defended his support for President Donald Trump, to the great delight of Trump himself.
The event was billed as a lunch at the White House to discuss prison reform, jobs for African-Americans and Chicago violence.
Those items were addressed in a pre-lunch meeting, but West launched into a speech and Trump let him go on as the cameras rolled.
But in between, West spoke of alternative universes, a new plane that Trump should consider as his next Air Force One, his diagnosis of bipolar disorder that he said was actually sleep deprivation, and living in a household dominated by females given his marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.
West later said that his 10-minute speech was “from the soul, I just channelled it”.
Trump lapped it all up.
“That was quite something,” said Trump, who was joined in the Oval Office by Hall of Fame NFL (National Football League) running back Jim Brown, who smiled and sat quietly through most of event.
West came to the White House clearly with a lot on his mind, chiefly his support for the president.
“I had the balls to put on this hat,” the 41-year-old artist said in defending the red “Make America Great Again (MAGA)” hat that he wore for his meeting.
It was the first of several off-colour remarks West would drop in the Oval Office, including this line: “He might not have expected to have a crazy (expletive) like Kanye West run up and support.”
The award-winning musician has taken fire from other celebrities for his support for Trump, particularly after his recent appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live show.
West rejected the criticism.
“People expect that if you’re black you have to be Democrat,” he said. “What I need Saturday Night Live to improve on, what I need the liberals to improve on: if he don’t look good, we don’t look good,” West said, gesturing at Trump.
He also said that he would like Trump to ditch talk about persuading police in Chicago to institute “stop and frisk” policies to crack down on crime and violence.
“I didn’t mean to put you on the (spot), bro,” West told Trump, who said “I’m open to everything” about the subject.
Before they adjourned for a roasted chicken lunch, the rapper stood up, walked over to Trump and gave him a bear hug.
“I love this guy right here. Let me give this guy a hug,” he said.
Trump said: “That’s really nice. That’s from the heart.”
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley earlier said that Trump and his guests would discuss potential future clemencies for convicts along with “addressing the massive violent crime surge in Chicago” and efforts to create jobs for African-Americans.
West’s visit follows by several months a similar trip to the White House Kim Kardashian West, who met Trump on May 30 and persuaded him to grant clemency to Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug charge in Tennessee.

Last updated: October 12 2018 12:10 AM

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