Donald Trump Meets With Kanye West, Says, "We've Been Friends for a Long Time"
The rapper, who was recently hospitalized, and the president-elect spoke to reporters from the lobby of Trump Tower on Tuesday.
Kanye West met with Donald Trump at his Trump Tower on Tuesday morning.
The rapper arrived at the lobby of the president-elect's Manhattan headquarters shortly after 9 a.m. ET and West, who had a videographer in tow, avoided questions from reporters as he headed up the elevators.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed the pair met at West's request. After the face-to-face, the pair spoke to reporters in the lobby.
When asked what they had discussed, Trump said only, "We've been friends for a long time."
Reporters pressed the pair on whether they were meeting about Trump's upcoming Jan. 20 inauguration. Trump looked at West and shot him a smile when asked if West planned to perform. But Trump replied only that they talked about "life."
West, newly blonde, remained nearly silent and stood with his arms crossed. When pushed for a comment about the meeting and his plans to run for president in 2020, the Saint Pablo singer said, "I just wanted to take a picture right now" with a smile.
The pair smiled at each other and when saying goodbye, Trump told West to take care of himself and that he would "see him soon."
On a conference call held by Trump's transition team on Tuesday, communications director Jason Miller said Trump met with "longtime friend" West and "enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with him." He added, "It was fun to watch some of the media folks' reaction to that." He said he was curious about the meeting and planned to ask Trump about it himself.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Miller said the pair met because Trump “is going to be president for all Americans,” and added that West "has had positive things to say about the president-elect.” Trump is interested in “putting together coalitions” and wants to “reach out to people both from traditional and nontraditional political viewpoints."
West took to Twitter later on Tuesday to say that he "wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues." Citing bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago as the issues, West said it's "important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change."
I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) December 13, 2016
These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) December 13, 2016
I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) December 13, 2016
West then posted the hashtag #2024, a presumed nod to him running for president in 2024, as opposed to 2020, which was the year he initially proposed and when Trump would run for a second term if he decided to do so. The hip-hop star and husband to Kim Kardashian famously announced his decision to run in 2020 during the 2015 VMAs.
#2024— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) December 13, 2016
A rep for West did not respond to a request for further details from The Hollywood Reporter's sister publication Billboard.
This is one of West's first public appearances since being hospitalized three weeks ago for exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Ahead of his hospitalization, he told a crowd at his California concert that he would have voted for Trump, if he had voted.
The statement came amid a lengthy political rant during his show, where West discussed his own policy points and compared them to Trump's while doubling down on his vow to run for president. Days later, he canceled the remaining dates on his Saint Pablo Tour.
On Wednesday, West shared a photo of Trump's Time Person of the Year cover, which was signed by Trump and made out to West. "To Kanye, You are a great friend. Thanks," it read.
Dec. 14, 11:35 a.m. ET: Updated with Time cover.
Dec. 13, 3:20 p.m: Updated with West tweets.