Trump 'Totally Open' to 'Smart Cookie' Kanye Lobbying Against Stop-and Frisk
WASHINGTON -- Rapper Kanye West declared President Trump is "on his hero's journey" during an Oval Office get-together in which Trump indicated he could be flexible to West's ideas on criminal justice and police reform.
Trump and West sat down for a private dining room lunch of caprese salad with balsamic glaze along with roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and sautéed asparagus. They were joined by NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
The White House said the discussion would be centered on "urban revitalization, the creation of Opportunity Zones, new workforce training programs, record highs in African-American employment, the creation of manufacturing jobs, ideas from [Trump's] meeting with African-American pastors, potential future clemencies, and addressing the massive violent crime surge in Chicago."
"A lot of times it's just the overall lack of reparations that we -- at any given point, we say this is racist, this is racist, this is racist, this is racist. So, we don't have reparations, but we have the 13th Amendment. We've got to open up the whole conversation," West said at an Oval Office media availability with Trump before lunch. “One of the moves I love that liberals try to do -- a liberal would try to control a black person through the concept of racism because they know that we are very proud, emotional people. So, when I say, ‘I like Trump’ to, like, someone that's liberal, they'll say, ‘oh, but he's racist.’ You think racism can control me? Oh, that won't stop me, that's an invisible wall.”
West added that he won't "answer questions that are simple soundbites" as "you are tasting a fine wine that has multiple notes to it."
"You better play 4-D chess with me like it's Minority Report, cause it ain't that simple. It's complex," he said.
On the subject of violence in Chicago, West said "stop-and-frisk does not help the relationships in the city" and "another thing is opening up industries, and we've got to get some tax breaks too." West grew up in the Chicago suburbs and recently decided to relocate his business there.
"The problem is illegal guns. Illegal guns are the problem, not -- not -- not legal guns. We have the right to bear arms," West said.
When a reporter noted that Trump has said he supports stop-and-frisk, West said, "We're going to discuss it. I didn't mean to put you on blast like that, bro."
"I'm open-minded, I'm here. I am open-minded," Trump said. "He can speak for me anytime he wants. He's been a great guy, he's a smart cookie, smart. He gets it."
Trump said West "could very well be" a future presidential candidate. West said it would be "only after 2024."