Kanye West to Talk Prison Reform, Gang Violence at White House
(Bloomberg) -- Recording artist and prominent Donald Trump supporter Kanye West is coming to the White House to have lunch with the president, the White House said Tuesday.
West will also meet with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner during the visit, press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago,” Sanders said.
Kushner has spearheaded the administration’s efforts overhaul the criminal justice system, and Trump on Monday said he had instructed the Department of Justice to work with law enforcement in Chicago to “straighten out the terrible shooting wave” in West’s hometown. Neither the White House nor Justice Department elaborated on what that outreach would entail.
West is scheduled to visit Thursday according to the New York Times, which first reported the plans for the rapper and Trump to meet. The session comes after West’s wife -- reality TV personality Kim Kardashian -- twice traveled to Washington to meet with the president and other administration officials to discuss prison reform efforts. Her lobbying led Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother who had been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a first-time drug offense.
West garnered headlines late last month when he wore Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat during an appearance on Saturday Night Live, and voiced support for the president in a speech shortly after the show stopped airing. Trump subsequently praised West during a rally last Monday in Tennessee and has frequently intimated that the rapper’s support is evidence his policies are benefiting the black community.
The meeting won’t be the pair’s first since Trump was elected. West visited the president-elect in December 2016, telling reporters then that he “just wanted to take a picture” with him.
Since then, West has repeatedly praised Trump in interviews and social media posts, including a memorable April tweet in which he praised the president’s “dragon energy.”
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