Kanye West meets Trump in Oval Of­fice

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Nar­dine Saad

Kanye West met with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the White House on Thurs­day, and the meet­ing turned into the kind of long-winded, high-pro­file rant that West has be­come in­fa­mous for. At one point he even rushed over to hug the pres­i­dent.

Wear­ing a red Make Amer­ica Great Again hat, the Grammy-win­ning rap­per held court with the pres­i­dent, who was sit­ting on the other side of his ex­ec­u­tive desk in the Oval Of­fice.

Dur­ing the sur­real sit-down in a room full of re­porters — which was ar­ranged to dis­cuss man­u­fac­tur­ing, prison re­form, gang-vi­o­lence preven­tion and ef­forts to re­duce vi­o­lence in West’s home­town of Chicago — the en­ter­tainer stayed on brand if not on topic.

He praised the pres­i­dent, telling him he looked to him as a fa­ther fig­ure, and re­peat­edly said, “I love this guy,” be­fore em­brac­ing Trump.

Wear­ing the MAGA hat, West said, makes him “feel like Su­per­man.” He told the pres­i­dent he re­designed his hat and re­moved “Again” from the slo­gan. He hoped that one day both Trump and out­spo­ken for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick could wear the re­con­fig­ured hat in sol­i­dar­ity.

West touched on his re­cent bipo­lar “mis­di­ag­no­sis” and his deal with Adi­das and told the pres­i­dent he grew up in a home — and mar­ried into a fam­ily — with­out a lot of “male en­ergy.” He likened the bi­par­ti­san ri­val­ries be­tween Democrats and Repub­li­cans to be­ing “like a gang again.”

West said he doesn’t “an­swer ques­tions in sim­ple sound bites. You are tast­ing a fine wine. It has mul­ti­ple notes to it.”

West en­cour­aged Trump to abol­ish the slav­ery-end­ing 13th Amend­ment, which he called “a trap door” for be­lea­guered African-Amer­i­cans that sends them back to prison. He urged Trump to bring jobs to Amer­ica and im­prove tran­si­tional ser­vices for ex-cons.

“I tell you what, that was pretty im­pres­sive,” Trump said of West’s pre­sen­ta­tion.

The meetup came on the heels of West sup­port­ing Trump in a post-show rant on “Satur­day Night Live.”

In May, West’s wife, re­al­ity TV star Kim Kar­dashian, met with Trump to suc­cess­fully se­cure a pres­i­den­tial par­don for Alice Marie John­son, serv­ing a life sen­tence on non­vi­o­lent drug charges.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, left, hosts a work­ing lunch with mu­si­cal artist Kanye West to dis­cuss crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and prison re­form on Thurs­day in the Oval Of­fice of the White House in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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