“There’s theories that there’s infinite amounts of universe, and there’s alternate universe,” West said at one point, explaining that it’s important to free former gangster Larry Hoover from federal prison because West is Hoover in an alternate universe.
West’s visit is not the first strange White House appearance by a superfamous musician. In 1970 singer Elvis Presley requested a meeting with President Richard Nixon so that he could be made some kind of federal deputy.
“I will be here for as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent,” Presley wrote in a barely intelligible note that he scribbled while flying to Washington. “I have done an in depth study of drug abuse and communist brainwashing.” The note and images from the meeting are available from George Washington University’s National Security Archive.
Presley had apparently begun to covet a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, a predecessor to the Drug Enforcement Administration, to add to his growing collection of police badges and guns.
“The narc badge represented some kind of ultimate power to him,” Priscilla Presley, his ex-wife, wrote in her memoir, according to Smithsonian Magazine. She also said the singer thought the badge would allow him “legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.” (Presley had a bit of a drug problem that may have contributed to his death in 1977.)
During the meeting, “Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit,” according to contemporaneous notes from a Nixon aide. “Presley kept repeating that he wanted to be helpful, that he wanted to restore some respect for the flag which was being lost.”
Presley brought Nixon a Colt 45 pistol as a gift, and Nixon asked an aide to send Presley a badge.
And then, toward the end of the meeting ― “in a surprising, spontaneous gesture” ― Presley gave Nixon a hug.