Trump hosts surreal meeting with rapper Kanye West

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Rapper Kanye West, who made a name for himself by upending the foundations of the musical genre, went on a winding, oftentimes perplexing 10-minute diatribe Thursday during a sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

West, who asked to be referred to as "Ye," has been a staunch Trump supporter drawing criticism from some of his closest friends, including singer-songwriter John Legend, who pleaded with him in text messages made public by Kanye to reconsider his position.

But the rapper has been undeterred, leading to his White House invitation for talks with the president that were intended to focus on jobs creation, workforce training programs and violence in Chicago – West's hometown.

Hall of Fame National Football League Running Back, Jim Brown, and Trump’s son-in-law and daughter Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were also on-hand.

But prior to a lunch of caprese salad and roasted chicken, West went full Kanye while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office launching into a soliloquy that touched on a smattering of sometimes bizarre topics.

Apparently referring to a 68-year-old prisoner whose case Kanye is seeking to raise with the president, the music producer said "the reason why they imprisoned him is because he started doing positive for the community," but then launched into a treatise on metaphysics.

"He started showing that he actually had power, he wasn’t just one of a monolithic voice, that he could wrap people around. So, there’s theories that there’s infinite amounts of universe, and there’s alternate universe,” he said as Trump looked on from across the Resolute desk.

Kanye further touched on such topics as mental illness, his affection for Trump and the "Make America Great Again” baseball hat he was wearing.

As he rounded out his solo monologue, Kanye got out of his chair, coming around the president's desk to make his way to Trump whom he warmly embraced in a side hug.

"I love this guy right here," Kanye exclaimed, exchanging a handshake with Trump.

When asked if West could be a potential presidential candidate, Trump responded that he "could very well be."

"Only after, it would have to be 2024," Kanye said, referring to the year when Trump would hit the two-term presidential cap.

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