Donald Trump

President Trump and Kanye West Talk Prisons, Flyness, and Stop and Frisk

The pair discussed reforms at the White House.


|||Ron Sachs - CNP / MEGA / Newscom
Ron Sachs—CNP / MEGA / Newscom

President Trump and Kanye West met at the White House on Thursday. An earlier statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the pair was scheduled to discuss topics such as prison reform, manufacturing jobs, jobs for former convicts, and reducing gun violence in Chicago, West's home city, over lunch.

Televised portions of the meeting gave viewers some insight on the discussion. Much of the time was spent on compliments between the two and West's much-talked about support for the president. At one point, West even told reporters that wearing his red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat gave him a certain power.

When it seemed as though the remainder of the time would be spent this way, West's observations turned toward the prison system, manufacturing, and community relationships.

West said he spoke with advocates who believe that stop-and-frisk programs, in which police detain and pat down pedestrians without probable cause, harm relationships between city governments and residents. Trump supports the policy and recently praised it as a solution to gun violence in Chicago. Stop and frisk not only has proven more harmful than effective at reducing crime; it has been ruled unconstitutional.

The rapper asserted that because so many products are manufactured in China, many Americans seek alternative ways to make money, even those deemed illegal. Then they end up in American prisons, "the cheapest factory ever."

This is the second time West and Trump have met. In December 2016, West was one of the many faces to appear at Trump Tower in New York City for an audience with the president-elect. At the time, West explained in a series of tweets that the pair spoke about "multicultural issues" and "bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago."

West's wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, met with Trump in May to ask him to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who was sentenced in the 1990s to life without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent drug offense. Weeks after their meeting, Trump commuted Johnson's sentence. When asked how she felt about her husband's meeting with Trump today, Kardashian West said she was "proud."

NEXT: Washington State Supreme Court Strikes Down Death Penalty

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Just saw the breatless pearl-clutching on CNN and MSNBC

    Not at all interested in Kanye or his beliefs, but:

    From 1955 -1993, Rock and Roll, and the movies, and pop culture in general were all about being anti-establishment, and rebellious. It glorified the young who thumbed their nose at conventional wisdom.

    Today there is now nowhere in the country that is more lockstep, authoritarian, and where rebelliousness is punished more than the Entertainment Industry. Much more so than any of their fever dreams about the Eisenhower era.

    Kanye seems to be the one of the very few to have figured out there is still cache in being a rebel, and how to get attention for going against the grain. It is amazing there aren’t more like him. Morrissey is another, but he is past his prime and pretty much ignored.

    1. ^ This

    2. Isn’t Morrissey the depressed guy?

      Or maybe in real life he dots his “i”s with hearts and wishes everybody a nice day?

      1. At least we still have Lou Reed

        1. Yep. And we also still have David Bowie, who sang “Rebel, Rebel,” and Tom Petty, who sang, “I Was Born a Rebel.”

          1. Please. As long as Greg Allman lives, none of those guys can truly call themselves “rebels.”

      2. By all accounts, Morrissey is even more of a difficult weirdo in real life than in his songs.

    3. He is self-described as mentally ill.

      What does that say about people who take him and Trump seriously?

      1. You heard it, folks. Tony thinks African Americans disagreeing with the opinions of white liberals are by definition “mentally ill”.

        1. Taylor Swift or Chris Evans should explain to him how to think properly.

        2. Tony shaming people with mental illnesses.

          This is why people with mental health issues are afraid to talk about it.

        3. Sorry, but did you watch that shit?

          1. I watched 8 years of celebutards parading around the WH spouting brain-dead platitudes.

            16 if you go back to the Clinton years.

            As a White Male Trustafarian Prog Plantation trustee, Kanye really threatens you, doesn’t he

            1. If you’re against celebrities getting involved in politics…

      2. Is someone taking it seriously?

        I think it’s just hilarious and therefore awesome.

        My new standard by which to measure the times I live in is by how funny it is. I’m no Trump fan, but his election might be the funniest thing ever to happen in real life.

  2. “”West even told reporters that wearing his red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat gave him a certain power.””

    The power to make liberals freak out.

  3. The best part about Kanye’s recent Trump support, is that it’s forcing all the people in the entertainment industry that have been kissing his ass for years about him being a savant genius, into turning on him and calling him an idiot.

    He’s always been an overrated fruit loop, and watching his former friends and media jock-sniffers turn on him like a bunch of wild dogs has been most entertaining. It provides yet more evidence that the mass media industry is a degenerate cesspool at complete odds with a healthy society.

    1. And Don Lemon and friends sounding like 1970s-era Klansmen

    2. Also, it sounds like these fickle friends of his are well-placed to be judges of idiocy.

    3. I always thought he was a self-obsessed idiot. And I still do, but this shit is awesome.

  4. “The rapper asserted that because so many products are manufactured in China, many Americans seek alternative ways to make money, even those deemed illegal.”

    That right there is something that only a kid from Chicago or some other Midwestern city would say. There’s a reason why Trump won the Midwest

    1. Right or wrong, protectionism is as Midwestern as corn, being fat, and surely about the weather

        1. I think the only reason why Kanye is Trump-curious is because of his emphasis on manufacturing. If you don’t understand how that appeals to some people then you’ve never lived in the (post) industrial Midwest

    2. The Russians don’t give a shit about the interests of any Americans, wherever they may live.

      1. Why do you have to constantly remind me that you are unstable?

      2. Now Kanye is a Russian spy!

        1. Do you have any idea how pathetic and sad it is for you people to be playing the “Look, we have a black!” game with Kanye West?

          1. Remind us about the demographic makeup of progressive activists again?

  5. Will Mr. West mention pardons?

  6. I’m sorry but it is much more important to present a unified resistance than to give that man legitimacy by working with him to achieve goals.

  7. The rapper asserted that because so many products are manufactured in China, many Americans seek alternative ways to make money, even those deemed illegal.

    Finally! Someone even more economically illiterate than Trump!

    1. Except, Kanye grew-up on Chicago’s South Side that was devastated when Ford and the steel companies moved out of town. Trump didn’t grow-up anywhere near any manufacturing. So, what’s his excuse for his economic illiteracy?

      1. So, what’s his excuse for his economic illiteracy?

        Being born rich?

        1. Ok. Good point

      2. He actually grew up in Oak Lawn which is a northern suburb. It’s more like the setting for a John Hughes film including the fact that it’s almost all white.

        1. Oak Lawn is a south suburb, but it’s not a bad neighborhood. Nonetheless, it borders the South Side

          1. For reference, John Hughes’ films were done in Lake Forest which is a north suburb and does not border the City. There is a big difference in income between Lake Forest and Oak Lawn

            1. Oak lawns suck. Ever step on an acorn in bare feet?

              1. Ever walk around the South Side St. Patrick’s Day parade with a bunch of drunks from Oak Lawn and Evergreen Park peeing on front lawns? I imagine stepping on an acorn is just as rough

    2. Not really. Cheap products are good overall, but it’s bad for the people who were making 6 figures as meat robots.

      1. Right. Get rid of farm machinery. ATMs while you’re at it. Put conductors back on buses. Did I say buses? Whoops, no, taxis only, more jobs that way.

        What other labor-saving devices can we get rid of? Car wash automation of course. C’mon, c’mon, think fast here.

        1. ^ This response is exactly why Trump doesn’t even need to deliver to convince these workers that he’s their only option

  8. Republicans hated Kanye when he said Bush didn’t care about black people and now all of a sudden they love him. LOL

    Everyone is legitimately retarded

    1. Republicans and Democrats are two schools of fish colliding. The same number may come out each side, but no individual fish will know whether or not it is still in the same school it was in before.

      1. Deep. I’ll never look at fish the same way

        1. Deep.


      2. Wow, man, that’s deep, and it’s not even 4:20 yet.

        1. I, myself, am 4:20.

          1. Be the 4:20

      3. Kanye will, because he has a hat.

        1. Excellent point.

      4. You’re making me think of the poster in Lester’s basement in the TV version of Fargo.

  9. You know I’m gonna cop those Limited Edition Presidential Yeezys if he wins. #YEEZY2024

  10. Sad to watch a guy falling apart in real time. He often sounds like Tom Cruise when he was in his manic states on TV or Charlie Sheen. Though this kind of stuff might be better left on SNL or day-time TV talk shows than the oval.

    Unrelated, but it has always been interesting that people see him as some kind of “musical genius”. I like some of his stuff and it can be catchy, but he has never done anything that special. I think he has always been mildly eccentric and kind of a douche which has kept everyone’s eye on him, and then he transitioned to hypo manic, to possibly manic.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.