Kanye 2024: Rapper makes VIP trip to Trump Tower to meet president-elect and Ivanka, talk violence in Chicago, bullying and schools - then hints he will run for White House too
- Rapper, 39, requested meeting with president-elect - and had a 15-minute sit-down at Trump Tower which he later said was about 'multi-cultural issues'
- West swept in to gilded lobby and was taken upstairs with an entourage which included Corey Gamble, 35, his mother-in-law's boyfriend, and posed for picture in Trump's office with president-elect and Ivanka
- After the meeting Trump came downstairs to see him out of the building - something he had only previously done with a Japanese bank executive; his daughter Ivanka went with him
- Trump called West his 'friend' and told the rapper - who was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown until last week - 'you take care of yourself'
- Secret Service concluded that West was not a risk to Trump's safety after assesing him due to his pyschiatric hold
- Last month West called Trump a 'genius' at a concert in California - and was booed by an apparently Clinton-loving crowd
- One report claimed Trump will offer Kanye a 'potential role' while another said West wants to speak to the president-elect again to raise the issue of violence in his native Chicago
West was cleared by the Secret Service to meet Trump despite concerns he had been under a pyschiatric hold in a California hospital until last week - then he handed the next leader of the free world a book of photos of nudes and people in hoodies and tattoos.
After the meeting West used Twitter to disclose that he had wanted to discuss 'multicultural issues', which he said were 'bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago'.
'I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,' he said.
Finally he tweeted: '#2024.'
The 15-minute meeting, however, did not include a request or an offer to perform at the presidential inauguration next month, TMZ reported.
Instead, Trump said, they talked about 'life' - and he happily posed, giving his signature thumbs-up, with Kanye and his daughter Ivanka in his personal office.
Then Trump descended to the lobby of Trump Tower to say goodbye to West, an honor he has extended to just one other visitor, and to none of the people he interviewed about top-level posts in his administration.
'We’re just friends, just friends. He’s a good man. Going well. Long time – We’ve been friends for a long time,' Trump said. 'Life, we discussed life.'
Kanye - who until last week was in hospital in Los Angeles recovering from a reported nervous breakdown - did not respond to questions about whether he would run in 2020 and said: 'I just want you to take my picture right now.'
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Kanye feels great again: The rapper posed with a smiling President-elect Trump and Ivanka inside the Republican election winner's personal office in Trump Tower. On Ivanka's shoulder are ratings from Variety magazine, showing The Apprentice as the most-watched show. Above her to the right is a picture of her father and John F Kennedy Jr taken at his Mar-a-Lago resort and club in February 1996. JFK Jr died in July 1999.
Meeting: Kanye spent 15 minutes talking with Trump about 'life' the president-elect said - bit did not offer to play the inauguration. The photographs in the background include Trump meeting Ronald Reagan at the White House (top left), which was shined by Reagan, and the cover of Playboy's March 1990 edition which showed him with Brandi Brant. Between the two men is a cover of New York magazine from February 11, 1985 featuring Trump. Inside was a story about the ice skating rink in Central Park which he completed. Between their shoulders is a framed cover of Palm Beach magazine.
Embrace: Trump invited West to this Trump Tower office, escorted him to the lobby and embraced him in full view of the world, saying: 'We’re just friends, just friends. He’s a good man. Going well.'
Friends: Donald Trump embraced Kanye West after a 15-minute meeting at Trump Tower which the rapper had requested
Embrace: The political gesture of inviting Kanye West to Trump Tower and being seen with him will boost Trump
'Good man': Trump praised rapper Kanye West after their meeting in Trump Tower and wished the 39-year-old well
Final parting: The two shook hands then embraced as West left after his 15-minute meeting
Trump power: Donald Trump escorted Kanye West to the lobby of Trump Tower after their 15-minute meeting, with daughter Ivanka also present
Happy mood: Trump laughed as he posed with a largely unsmiling Kanye West after their Trump Tower meeting, while daughter Ivanka watched at his right
'Take my picture': Kanye West declined to answer questions and said he just wanted his picture taken
I'm with him: Kanye West had said that although he did not vote, Trump was a 'genius' for winning the election
Clique: Several reporters asked Kanye if he would run for president in 2020, but he didn't respond. Last year, Trump said he hoped one day he could run against Kanye
As Kanye left Trump said: 'Man, you take care of yourself, I'll see you soon.'
It was a reference to the rapper's hospitalization due to a nervous breakdown. The Secret Service had assessed that West was not a threat to the president-elect's personal safety, TMZ reported.
Trump had also brought his daughter Ivanka down to see off West and she was to the side as they embraced.
Reports on the outcome of the meeting differed. E! News suggested West wanted to discuss becoming 'an ambassador of sorts' while Trump was interested in him taking an 'entrepreunerial leadership role'.
TMZ however said there was no discussion of possible roles - and instead that West wants to meet Trump again to discuss promoting peace on the streets of Chicago, where the murder rate has soared.
West's Tweets confirmed that was the original intention of the meeting - although not whether it had been the outcome.
West, who was born and brought up in Chicago, was said to have planned two meetings, one without a focus on Chicago and the next raising how he can help bring down the murder rate himself.
There has been no independent confirmation from the Trump transition team of the nature of the discussion.
The rapper had swept into Trump Tower with an entourage which included his mother-in-law's 35-year-old boyfriend shortly after 9am for the meeting with the man he recently called a 'genius'.
TMZ reported that the meeting was at Kanye's request and that Trump had agreed to it.
The 39-year-old, who until last week had been recovering from a nervous breakdown in hospital in Los Angeles having been hopsitalized on 21 November, was taken upstairs without speaking to reporters.
Trump's transition team is currently looking for performers at the inauguration on January 20, and the addition of one of rap's biggest names would clearly be a huge coup.
Trump's inaugural committee is hoping to attract some star power to the presidential inauguration in January, but efforts are reportedly coming up short.
Looking for all my real friends: Kanye West and the president-elect shared an elevator to Trump Tower's main lobby before they spoke to the press together
Departure: Donald Trump came to the lobby of Trump Tower with his guest Kanye West - only the second time he had descended to say farewell
The clock's ticking: Trump is still struggling to find performers for his inauguration in January
As I recall, I know you love to show off: Kanye dressed down for his short meeting with Trump, wearing a black crew-neck sweatshirt, black pants and white sneakers
She's with them: Ivanka Trump came downstairs too as the rapper left with her father, President-elect Donald Trump
Friends: Trump said he and Kanye had been long-term friends and were talking about 'life'
Holding on to what I believe in: The details of Trump and Kanye's meeting are still unknown, though the President-elect said they discussed 'life'
I ain't got no issues, I'm just doing my thing: During the presidential campaign Kanye was seen smiling for a selfie with Hillary Clinton. Months later he revealed that he would have voted for Trump
Handshake: West and Trump exchanged a handshake and hug as the rapper left the building
Presidential gesture: Donald Trump and Kanye West embraced after the president-elect escorted the rapper to the lobby of Trump Tower
rump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son spoke with reporters to announce a deal that will bring 50,000 jobs to the US as part of a $50billion investment. He is the only Trump Tower visitor who the president-elect has spoken to reporters with
But the same source said the Trump team really wanted more popular acts – 'artists like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars' – whose politics might not exactly align with those of the president-elect.
In order to attract top tier talent, sources told TheWrap that members of the Presidential Inaugural Committee have been offering up cold hard cash, with a 'name your price' mentality.
Two sources told the publication that members of the Trump inaugural committee contacted them and offered cash, or even a government appointment, to get talent to come to the late January affair.
An inaugural committee spokesman denied it all.
West spoke in support of the president-elect last month at a concert, in the wake of Trump's victory of Hillary Clinton to back the Republican.
'If I would've voted, I would've voted Trump,' he told a crowd during the concert in San Jose, California.
He also told the crowd that Trump was a 'genius' for winning.
He then added: 'Specifically to black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, ok? Let's stop being distracted. It's just a f***ing fact, we are in a racist country, period.'
The endorsement of the president-elect reportedly earned him boos. California voted heavily for defeated Hillary Clinton.
Yeezus! Kanye West and his entourage enter the lobby of Trump Tower
Walk of fame: The lobby of Trump Tower has become the place to see who is who in the new Trump administration
On his way to the top: Kanye West was seen walking through the swing doors at Trump Tower on his way to the elevator
Yeezy does it: Kanye was accompanied by among others Corey Gamble (behind Kanye), his mother-in-law Kris Jenner's 35-year-old boyfriend
Entourage: Kanye West was accompanied by at least five people as he breezed past security and into the bank of elevators
He's here: West arrive just after 9am at Trump Tower, where the president-elect was scheduled to hold a series of meetings
Through the doors: Kanye gets ready to go through the gilded doors of Trump Tower on Manhattan's prestigious 5th Avenue
Heavy security: Trump Tower has been turned into a mini-fortress with traffic blocked from outside and armed police on constant guard
Also on the wall: Trump's office has a framed version of this picture of him and JFK Jnr at Mar-a-Lago in 1996
Among his entourage were Kris Jenner's boyfriend, Corey Gamble, 35, who had been accompanying West during his trip to New York.
The visit to Trump Tower on New York's 5th Avenue came after West was seen in the city - his first public appearances since being released from hospital after the breakdown.
It had been reported that he was in New York to recruit a psychiatrist in the wake of his breakdown, but the meeting at Trump Tower suggests that at the very least he has partially recovered.
A meeting with Trump may not be the ideal balm for what is said to be a troubled patch in his marriage to Kim Kardashian; she was a prominent endorser of Clinton who made clear in September that she was voting for the Democrat.
For Trump the gesture is a significant political move in reaching out to African-Americans and to millennials.
And honoring West by taking him to the lobby is an extremely rare move.
The only other person he escorted downstairs was a Japanese bank executive Masayoshi Son who he had met to discuss creating 50,000 new jobs in manufacturing in the United States.
The star arrival and departure put the rest of the arrivals at Trump Tower in the shade - including Mike Pence, the vice-president elect, and Gary Cohn, the Goldman Sachs chief operating officer who will be his principal economic advisor.
Didn't meet: Vice-president elect Mike Pence arrived shortly after the rapper's departure; the two did not meet
Also in transition: Gary Cohn, who will be director of the National Economic Council was among other arrivals at Trump Tower
REMEMBER WHEN HE SAID 2020? KANYE'S PREVIOUS WHITE HOUSE AMBITIONS REVEALED
Yeezus that's a surprise: Kanye West as he announced his 2020 run back in 2015
Kanye West rannounced he would run for president in 2020 as he collected MTV's highest honor at the Video Music Awards in August 2015.
With Trump then new to his White House run he made a long and rambling speech at the ceremony in Los Angeles, West admitted he had smoked something before arriving to calm his nerves.
It started with a message to Taylor Swift - who he had interrupted at 2009's awards: 'I often think back to the first day I met you. You know I think about it when I'm in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice and they say to me, "Oh you're not that bad after all".'
Watched by his Kim Kardashian, pregnant with baby Saint, he continued: 'I still don't understand awards shows, I don't understand how they get five people who work their entire life, sold records, sold concert tickets, to stand on a red carpet, to come and for the first time in their life stand on the chopping block and be considered a loser.;
Then after holding his head in his hands for an extended period of time, he added: 'It's about ideas, people who believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could have guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.'
He then doubled down on the idea telling a BBC interview in November of this year that he wanted to run - even though he had no political views.
'When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views,' he said.
'I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the (the) truth. If there is anything that I can do with my time to somehow make a difference while I’m still alive, I’m all for it.'
'BLACK AND THE NEW ORANGE!' MEMES MOCK DONALD TRUMP'S MEETING WITH KANYE WEST
On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump got perhaps his most shocking visitor to Trump Tower yet - Kanye West.
The two 'longtime' friends had a brief meeting Wednesday morning before they took the elevator downstairs and posed for pictures with reporters - marking one of Kanye's first public appearances since being discharged from hospital last week after suffering a mental breakdown.
The meeting spawned numerous memes online - mocking both the President-elect and Kanye for the bizarre meeting.
Why so serious? Donald Trump hosted Kanye West for a brief meeting at Trump Tower on Wednesday, and the get together spawned numerous memes like the one above
North, I am your father! The meme above compares Kanye to Darth Vader and Trump as the Sith lord
Sounds like a Netflix hit: Another meme made a pun on the Netflix show Orange is the New Black, by writing 'Black and the New Orange'
Special treatment: One meme compared Trump to Leonardo DiCaprio's slave owner in Django Unchained, with Kanye as the Uncle Tom-esque head slave Stephen
In a change of pace, it was Kanye who received the bulk of the abuse - with memes mocking his new blond hair.
Another meme contrasted two pictures of Kanye, one smiling picture with President Obama and a photo from Wednesday's meeting with Trump in which he wears a super-serious expression. 'America at the start of 2016. America at the end of 2016,' the Instagram user wrote.
One meme maker used Photoshop to turn Kanye into Darth Vader to Trump's Sith master.
Others referenced Trump's plan to keep tabs on Muslims entering the U.S. and Kanye's foray into fashion design.
'Trump is meeting with Kanye because Kanye is designing the uniforms for the camps,' one meme reads, with pictures from Kanye's fashion line.
Trump's proposal to maintain a database of Muslims in the country has drawn comparisons to the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans, but he has never proposed putting Muslims in camps.
Votes for Trump: Before he was hospitalized for a mental breakdown, Kanye went on a long rant at a concert about how he didn't vote - but if he had it would have been for Trump
Kanye Trump? In the lobby of Trump Tower, West refused to make a comment but Trump said the two were catching up about 'life'
Government contract? This meme referenced Trump's plan to keep tabs on Muslims entering the U.S., joking that he wants to use Kanye's fashion line clothing 'for the camps'. Trump's proposal to maintain a database of Muslims in the country has drawn comparisons to the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans, but he has never proposed putting Muslims in camps
Sell out: During their quick photo opp in the Trump lobby, the President-elect said he and Kanye had been friends for years
Serious issues: The above meme makes fun of Kanye's recent stint in the hospital, after suffering a mental break down in the middle of his Saint Pable tour
Imitation is the highest form of flattery: Kanye's new bleach-blond hair was a focal point of many of the memes - which compared his new coif to Trump's never-graying look
Sea change: Multiple memes contrasted pictures of Kanye with President Obama and the new President-elect
Bankrupt: Throughout the campaign, Trump claimed he made his fortune after starting his business with a 'small loan' of $1million dollars from his father
Real friends: Kanye has claimed to be on the outs with longtime collaborator Jay-Z as of late
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