How about that: West leaves Trump speechless
WASHINGTON: Declaring that his red “MAGA” hat made him “feel like Superman”, rapper Kanye West made a freestyling appearance in the Oval Office.
Ahead of a private lunch, President Donald Trump and West spoke with reporters on Thursday as they sat across from each other at the Resolute desk.
Talking loudly and rapidly on everything from Mr Trump’s protectionist trade polices to replacing Air Force One with a hydrogen plane, black gun crime, being married to Kim Kardashian and “infinite amounts of universe”, West left the normally loquacious President nearly speechless.
“That was quite something,” Mr Trump finally said to laughter from astonished senior aides and journalists at the end of the soliloquy, which West punctuated with bangs of his fist on the legendary Resolute desk, used by presidents since the 1880s.
“It was from the soul. I just channelled it,” the musician said, adding — to further gasps — that Mr Trump “might not have expected to have a crazy motherf..ker like Kanye West supporting him.”
Mr Trump said West “could very well be” future presidential material, to which the rapper said he would not want to get in the way of the Republican’s 2020 reelection. “Only after him in 2024,” he said. “Trump is on his hero’s journey right now.”
West said many believed that if you were black, you had to be a Democrat and he had been pres- sured not to wear his red “Make America Great Again” hat. “This hat, it gives me power,” he said.
West credited Mr Trump with preventing a war with North Korea and encouraged him to swap his usual Air Force One for a hydrogen-powered plane.
He also said Mr Trump deserved more respect: “If he don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
During a pause in West’s comments, Mr Trump said: “I tell you what, that was pretty impressive”.
He also described West as a “smart cookie”.
The rapper also spoke against stop-and-frisk policing policies, which Mr Trump recently expressed support for. Mr Trump said he was open to other ideas.
Mr Trump recently tweeted praise for West, who closed a Saturday Night Live show wearing a MAGA hat and delivering an unscripted pro-Trump message after the credits rolled.
West is married to reality star Kim Kardashian West, who pushed Mr Trump to grant a pardon for a drug offender this year.
Joining West, Mr Trump, and American football great Jim Brown were Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, White House advisers and the President’s daughter and son-in-law.
West said Hillary Clinton’s “I’m With Her” 2016 campaign didn’t gel with him. Looking at Trump, he said: “You made a Superman cape for me. That’s my favourite superhero.”