5 Things to Know About Kim Kardashian West's Meeting With Donald Trump
On Wednesday, reality television star Kim Kardashian West took a trip to the Oval Office, meeting with President Donald Trump. The meeting caused quite a stir, and inspired questions as to how Kardashian West might affect policy.
Here are five things to know about the starlet's visit with Trump.
1. Criminal justice reform.
After the meeting, President Trump shared the topic he discussed with Kardashian West on Wednesday. "Great meeting with [Kim Kardashian] today, talked about prison reform and sentencing," the president tweeted along with a photo of the two behind the Resolute Desk.
Criminal justice reform is among the few issues that attract bipartisan support. Drug offenders often face mandatory long prison sentences for rather minor offenses, whatever their race.
Criminal justice reform advocates have long considered the Trump administration a lost opportunity, due to the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As FiveThirtyEight's Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux noted, Sessions has pushed the justice system in a direction reminiscent of the 1990s, championing the federal death penalty, reversing Obama-era motions against marijuana crackdowns, and directing prosecutors to use the most serious charges against drug suspects.
Earlier this month, however, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined together to introduce the FIRST STEP Act to jumpstart prison reform by favoring rehabilitation. The push began last fall with a measure sponsored by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
Jeffries and Collins reportedly worked with President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner to put together a package the president could support. Even in these efforts, Sessions' opposition to sentencing reform presented a major hurdle.
2. Alice Marie Johnson.
On Twitter, Kardashian West wished a happy birthday to Alice Marie Johnson, adding, "Today is for you," with a prayer emoji.
Johnson has been serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. She was sentenced in 1996. According to the Associated Press, Johnson helped lead a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring from 1991 to 1994. She was tried on cocaine conspiracy and money laundering charges.
In October, Mic shared a moving video of Johnson lamenting her life sentence, explaining the desperation that drove her to drug trafficking, and detailing the life she had lost after more than 20 years in prison without parole. She missed the birth of her grandchildren and great grandson, as well as the passing of her mother and father.