Kanye West, one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent and ardent celebrity supporters, is scheduled to meet with the president at the White House on Thursday — less than two weeks after the musician caught flak for defending Trump in a scattered rant delivered on the “Saturday Night Live” set.
West will first meet with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, before having lunch with the president, the White House said.
“Kanye West is coming to the White House to have lunch with President Trump and he will also meet with Jared Kushner,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “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.”
The New York Times first reported the news on Monday. A representative of West also confirmed the meeting.
West caused a stir after the season premiere of “SNL” on Sept. 30 when he launched into a pro-Trump monologue while wearing a red “Make America great again” cap at the end of the show.
West, who was the musical guest that night, railed against the Democrats, saying their “plan” is to “take the [black] fathers out of the home and put them on welfare.” He was booed by many in the audience.
“SNL” comedian Pete Davidson later lambasted West’s rant as “one of the worst, one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen while working here.”
The 41-year-old rapper ― who recently announced he was changing his name to “Ye” in a since-deleted tweet ― stirred further controversy last week when he suggested on Twitter that the constitutional amendment outlawing slavery should be “abolished.” After facing an onslaught of criticism for his remarks, including from several high-profile celebrities, West deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
West and the president last met in December 2016 during Trump’s transition. The president has since met with West’s wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who urged Trump during a May 2018 White House meeting to commute the life sentence of Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Days after their meeting, Trump granted Johnson clemency.