WASHINGTON (CBS News) — President Trump typically isn’t one to be upstaged — but that wasn’t the case Thursday when rapper Kanye West launched into a monologue across from him in the Oval Office, leaving even Mr. Trump nearly speechless.
“That was quite something. That was quite something,” Mr. Trump said.
West was invited to the White House to have lunch with the president, former NFL star Jim Brown, and the president’s son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner to discuss manufacturing, prison reform and gang violence.
But West, launching into a more than 10-minute, profanity-infused soliloquy, talked about being mistakenly diagnosed as bipolar, about his family situation, and about his support for Mr. Trump, among other things. He also said he won’t consider running for president “until 2024,” instead voicing his support for Mr. Trump.
“He might not expect to have a crazy motherf***r like Kanye West support him,” West told those in the Oval Office.
West said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but then that he was misdiagnosed, and was simply sleep-deprived.
“We can empower the pharmaceuticals and make more money,” the rapper said.
West did touch on criminal justice reform, the primary topic he came to the White House to address. Mr. Trump earlier in the week said Chicago should strongly consider implementing a stop-and-frisk program like the one New York City had. But West said many people told him the most important thing is to make sure to curb any stop-and-frisk policies. West said the focus needs to be on love instead.
West has been supportive of the president, sharing a picture of himself with a “Make America Great Again” hat earlier this year and praising him during a recent “Saturday Night Live” appearance. In return, Mr. Trump has lauded the rapper on Twitter, and said he has been helpful with support among African-Americans.
“Thank you to Kanye West and the fact that he is willing to tell the TRUTH,” Mr. Trump tweeted in August. “One new and great FACT – African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honored by this. Thank you Kanye for your support. It is making a big difference!”
West’s visit comes after his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, successfully lobbied the president to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who had been convicted on drug charges. Earlier this week, Mr. Trump said there are a lot of people like Johnson and he would like to find them.
“I’d like to find a lot of people like Alice Johnson. And there are a lot of people that are in a situation like that, and we are actively looking for those situations,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday. “She’s a terrific woman. I’ve been watching her a lot. And what a great spokesman she is for that situation. And that’s covering a lot of people. There are a lot of people like that that will unfortunately be locked up for many, many years. And there’s no reason for it. So we are looking for — we are actively looking for other situations exactly like that.”
On the menu for Thursday’s lunch is caprese salad with balsamic glaze, roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, and sautéed asparagus.
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