Trump Praises, Hugs Kanye West During Bizarre Oval Office Meeting
The rapper, a big supporter of the president, was in the White House for a lunch meeting.
Before having lunch together Thursday at the White House, President Donald Trump heaped praise on rapper Kanye West during a bizarre meeting that left cable news anchors shaking their heads.
“He can speak for me anytime he wants," Trump said of West. "He’s a smart cookie. He gets it.”
The president said West "could very well be" a presidential candidate in the future, though only after 2024.
During the pre-lunch meeting, West referred to himself as a "motherfucker" and went on a long rant that ended with him coming around Trump's desk and hugging him.
In response to the rant, the president said: "I tell you what, that was pretty impressive. ... That was quite something.”
West, who donned a Make America Great Again hat, said, "They tried to scare me to not wear this hat. But, this hat gives me power in some way." He also said that "liberals" like those who work for NBC's Saturday Night Live need to treat the president better.
After the meeting aired on MSNBC, host Ali Velshi said, "Wow, that was bonkers." His co-host, Stephanie Ruhle, called the meeting "an assault on the White House."
Trump and West were set to be joined for lunch by football great Jim Brown and dine on caprese salad with balsamic glaze and roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and sautéed asparagus, according to an announcement.
During the lunch, the group was slated to discuss "President Trump’s historic work to benefit all Americans such as urban revitalization, the creation of Opportunity Zones, new workforce training programs, record highs in African American employment, the creation of manufacturing jobs, ideas from his meeting with African American pastors, potential future clemencies, and addressing the massive violent crime surge in Chicago."
Earlier, Kid Rock was on hand for the signing of the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. Asked to comment, the singer said the president doesn't get as much credit as he should around the country.
During a lengthy interview with Fox News morning show Fox & Friends on Thursday, Trump said, "I like [West] a lot. ... He's a very different kind of a guy, and I say that in a positive way. Those in the music business say he's a genius, and that's OK with me."