President Trump called Kanye West a “genius” hours before he’s expected to sit down with the rapper at the White House to discuss prison reform and other issues.
“Those in the music business say he’s a genius, and that’s OK with me, because as far as I ‘m concerned he is,” the president said during an interview Thursday on “Fox & Friends.”
West and pro-football legend Jim Brown will have lunch with Trump and White House adviser Jared Kushner.
Trump said prison reform is a personal issue for West.
“He’s not asking anything for himself. He’s not saying, ‘hey, gee, I want to do this or that.’
“He’s a private guy and he wants to help people – and maybe more than anything prison reform,” Trump said.
He recalled how West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, met with him in May to discuss Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. A month later, Trump commuted her sentence.
Trump said prison reform is necessary.
“We do need reform. But that doesn’t mean easy. We’re going to make some categories tougher when it comes to drug dealing and other things,” he said. “It’s very unfair to African-Americans, it’s very unfair to everybody and it’s very costly.”
Asked about West catching flack for wearing a Make America Great Again hat and speaking up for Trump on “Saturday Night Live” last month, Trump said he appreciates the entertainer’s support.
“When Kanye came out very strongly for me a number of months ago, something happened,” the president said. “Polls for me went up like 25 percent.”
“He’s got a big following in the African-American community … and I think he has in a lot of communities,” he continued.
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