Kanye West asked for a 15-minute meeting with Donald Trump, a transition aide says
West and his wife attended a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
Kanye West met with President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday, after he was spotted arriving at Trump Tower in New York City, only days after the rapper first came back into the public eye following his hospitalization.
Trump spoke to reporters with West by his side, calling the rapper a “good man” and telling journalists that they have been “friends for a long time.”
While West would not discuss the details of the meeting ignored questions about whether he plans on performing at Trump’s inauguration, he later tweeted about it, saying he talked to Trump about stopping the violence in his native city of Chicago.
“I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues,” West tweeted.
“I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues,” he added. “I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.”
“You take care of yourself, I’ll see you soon,” Trump told West in the lobby of Trump Tower as their meeting concluded.
A source with knowledge of the meeting told CNN that concern over Chicago is the rapper’s main concern.
“Finding ways to effect change for that particular issue has been heavy on Kanye’s mind for years and he has been talking about it more often most recently with family and friends,” the source said. “His hope is that he will be able to keep this issue fresh on the mind of the Trump administration and they will make making Chicago safe again a priority.”
West, who has mentioned Trump in his lyrics, asked for a 15-minute meeting with Trump, transition spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed.
This is yet another sign that the hip-hop mogul and rapper, who declared a 2020 presidential bid at the VMA’s last year, is open to working with the President-elect.
The reason for his visit is not yet clear and he did not take any questions from reporters. He walked in with a slight smile and made his way to the elevator. He was accompanied by an entourage that included a videographer.
West, who was hospitalized last month due to exhaustion, shocked fans in California when he abruptly ended a concert with a rant in which he proclaimed that had he voted, he would have voted for Donald Trump.
“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right?” Kanye said. “But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump.”
West, who attended a Hillary Clinton fundraiser with wife and Clinton supporter Kim Kardashian last year, has long been known to make controversial statements.
His views on 2016 are uncommon in the hip-hop community, which has fiercely rejected the candidacy of the billionaire mogul this year’s election cycle.
His surprising support for Trump was met with anger and confusion in the hip-hop community as activists and artists gear up for a political battle against the incoming president amid fears that a Trump administration could threaten the civil rights of minority groups.
Following the pro-Trump rant and a canceled Los Angeles concert, West canceled the rest of his 2016 Saint Pablo tour dates – which had been scheduled through New Year’s Eve.
“The remaining dates on the SAINT PABLO TOUR have been canceled,” Live Nation said in a statement. “Tickets will be fully refunded at point of purchase.”
During his hospitalization fans expressed concern over West’s mental health and amid criticism, many dedicated prayers and well wishes on social to the rapper.
West was released from the hospital early this month.
CNN’s Noah Gray and Chloe Melas contributed to this report.