Kanye’s free-style riffs dom­i­nate Oval Of­fice

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Cather­ine Lucey

WASH­ING­TON — Declar­ing that his red “MAGA” hat makes him “feel like Su­per­man,” rap­per Kanye West made a free- styling ap­pear­ance Thurs­day in the Oval Of­fice.

Ahead of a pri­vate lunch, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and West spoke with re­porters as they sat across from each other at the Res­o­lute Desk. West dom­i­nated the con­ver­sa­tion with a se­ries of mono­logues that touched on so­cial pol­icy, men­tal health, en­dorse­ment deals and his sup­port for the pres­i­dent.

“Trump is on his hero’s jour­ney right now,” West said, who dropped the Fword, floated pol­icy pro­pos­als — and went in for a hug.

West said that many peo­ple be­lieve that, if you’re black, you have to be a Demo­crat and said he was pres­sured not to wear his red “Make Amer­ica Great Again” hat. But he said “this hat, it gives me power.”

It was a sur­real scene even by the stan­dards of the cur­rent White House.

Spec­ta­tors i ncluded Trump’s son-in-law and top ad­viser, Jared Kush­ner, and former NFL star Jim Brown.

The con­ver­sa­tion be­gan with an ex­change on North Korea among Trump, Brown and West. Trump said the re­gion was headed for war be­fore he took over, and West com­mended him for stop­ping it. Brown said he liked North Korea; Trump agreed.

West also crit­i­cized the 13th Amend­ment, which abol­ished slav­ery, call­ing it a “trap door.”

Hold­ing out his phone, West showed Trump a pic­ture of a hy­dro­gen-pow­ered plane that he thought should re­place Air Force One.

“This right here is the iPlane 1,” he said. “This is what our pres­i­dent should be fly­ing.”

Dur­ing one pause, Trump seemed to ac­knowl­edge the odd­ness of the mo­ment, say­ing: “That was quite some­thing.” Kanye West hugs Pres­i­dent Trump dur­ing a visit Thurs­day to the Oval Of­fice be­fore West and Trump had lunch.

OLIVER CON­TR­ERAS/GETTY

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