Kanye West came face to face with Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday (Oct. 11).
During a lunch meeting at the Oval Office, West wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat and spoke in front of reporters and cameras for nearly 10 minutes about prison reform, mental health, the 13th Amendment, and his love for the president.
He also spoke about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign, and feeling alienated by her slogan. “I love Hillary, I love everybody, but the campaign ‘I’m With Her’ just didn’t make me feel, as a guy that didn’t get to see my dad all the time, like a guy could play catch with his son. It was something about when I put this hat on, I made me feel like Superman. You made a Superman. That’s my favorite superhero. And you made a Superman cape for me.”
He credited Trump for inspiring his move from Nike to adidas. “You gave me the heart to go to adidas because at adidas, when I went in in 2015, we were a $14 billion company losing $2 billion a year. Now we have a $38 billion market cap. It’s called the Yeezy effect,” he said. “This adidas thing made me a billionaire and I could’ve lost $200 million walking away from that deal.”
The conversation turned to mental health and West said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but called it a “misdiagnosis.” “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was connected with a neuropsychologist that works with the athletes in the NBA and NFL. He looked at my brain,” he said. “I wasn’t actually bipolar, I had sleep deprivation which can cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now when I wouldn’t even remember my son’s name.”
After praising the president, Trump said, “I tell you what, that was pretty impressive. That was quite something.” Kanye responded: “It was from the soul. I just channeled it.”
At one point, he unlocked his iPhone and showed Trump and senior advisor Jared Kushner a mockup of a plane that he wants Apple to make to replace Air Force One.
He also shared his dream of seeing Trump and Colin Kaepernick together at the Super Bowl, both wearing MAGA hats. “Showing that we can bend a bit on this side, we can bend a bit on this side, and we can learn how to be malleable in the infinite universe that we are and the loving beings that we are. That we don’t have to stick to traditions.”
The meeting concluded with West getting up to give Trump a hug. “I love this guy right here. Let me give this guy a hug,” said Kanye, to which Trump responded, “That’s really nice. And that’s from the heart. I didn’t want to put you in that position.”