Rapper Kanye West, who has said that he and President Trump both share “dragon energy,” will drop by the White House this week to have lunch with the president, the White House said Tuesday.
Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will also meet with West when he visits, 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.
Trump on Monday said he had instructed the Department of Justice to work with law enforcement in West’s hometown of Chicago to “straighten out the terrible shooting wave.” The president has also threatened to send in federal forces to clean up Chicago.
West is scheduled to visit on Thursday, The New York Times reports.
“Mr. Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, has been focused on overhauling the criminal justice system, and one person briefed on the meeting said that Mr. West wanted to discuss the availability of job opportunities for former convicts. He also hopes to discuss with Mr. Trump how to increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the Chicago area, where Mr. West grew up and recently said he planned to return, according to the person briefed on the meeting,” said the Times.
West’s wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian has met with Trump twice to plead for release of prisoners and discuss prison reform efforts. After discussions with her, Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a black grandmother sentenced to life without parole for a first-time drug offense.
West ruffled feathers when he delivered a pro-Trump rant in front of a hyper-liberal crowd at the “Saturday Night Live” premiere earlier this month. After the show was over, West donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and went on a tear.
“So many times I talk to a white person about this and they say ‘how can you like Trump? He’s racist,” said West. “If I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago.”
“You see they laughing at me. You heard ’em, they scream at me, they bully me. They bullied me backstage,” said West, who has said he’s considering a presidential run in 2020. “They said, ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on.’ They bullied me backstage. They bullied me.” …
“And the liberals bully you and tell you what you can and cannot wear. And they look at me and say, ‘It’s not fair. How the hell did you get here?’ “
In an apparent reference to Trump, Yeezy said: “If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don’t have to believe in all their policies … We need to have a dialogue not a diatribe, because if you want something to change, it’s not going to change by saying, ‘F**k that person.’ Try love. Try love.”