In a presidency known for boisterousness, off-the-cuff statements - today's meeting between rapper Kanye West and Donald Trump was an especially exuberant meeting of the minds.
Kanye West is one of president Trump's most high-profile celebrity supporters, and arguably along with his wife Kim Kardashian West, forms one of our era's most influential, or at least most ubiquitous, power couples.
Kanye ran up to hug Trump over the shoulder while wearing his "Make America Great Again" hat, saying that the cap "...made me feel like superman," West then thanked the president, adding that "You made a superman cape for me, also, as someone who looks up to you ... looks up to American industry guys." He also praised Trump for his relatable "male energy."
While President Trump is known for his off-the-cuff, steam-of-consciousness speaking style, Kanye demonstrated his own knack for it by delivering a 10 minute impromptu speech covering several topics.
While some of them seemed completely random, he made clear that the core mission of his visit was to, according to USA Today,
"...convincing Trump to change his position on "stop-and-frisk" searches, the controversial police practice of temporarily detaining suspects based on "reasonable suspicion" and searching them for weapons and other contraband. Critics say the policy disproportionately targets blacks and Latinos.
The source of Chicago's violence, West argued, "is illegal guns." He then stressed, "Not legal guns. We have the right to bear arms.”
He continued, "Let’s stop worrying about the future – all we have is today," adding, "Trump is on his hero’s journey right now. He might not have thought he’d have a crazy (expletive) like (me) supporting him.”
NPR has noted that these celebrity meetings with the president do have a successful track record. Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian West had previously visited the White House and successfully persuaded the president to commute the life sentence of a first-time drug offender Alice Marie Johnson. She also engaged in talks with him about criminal justice reform and the clemency process.
Trump seemed to enjoy this meeting with Kanye West greatly, commenting that "He can speak for me any time he wants. he’s a smart cookie. He gets it," then adding that he "could very well be" a presidential candidate in the future.
Kanye then clarified that while that may be true, it would occur, "Only after 2024."