Jimmy Kimmel lightly grilled Kanye West about his bff President Donald Trump on his ABC late night show on Thursday, a few times leaving the rapper husband of reality TV star Kim Kardashian at a loss for words.
Here are a few interesting takes from the 20-minute-plus “Jimmy Kimmel Live” interview which can be seen on YouTube.
Kimmel started off light, asking West about Trump’s new Space Force. The president recently proposed the new military branch and Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday sketched the first outlines of the force during a speech at the Pentagon, according to NBC News.
Kimmel: “You should design the uniforms for the Space Force. Is that something you would do, if President Trump asked you to do that?
West: “I’m into designing.” (West has made a splash at several big-name fashion shows.)
Kimmel addressed Kim Kardashian helping convince Trump to grant clemency Alice Marie Johnson in June. Johnson had been sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug-related offense in 1997 and was not eligible for parole, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Kimmel: “Was that something you discussed with her before she did it?
West: “She’s super passionate about it and it was amazing to see that dream come true.”
Kimmel: “Were you ever concerned about her being alone in the Oval Office with President Trump?”
West: “Well, he is a player.”
Kimmel asked West directly about Trump’s presidency, which the rapper supports and for which he has been criticized by fellow musicians and others in the African-American community.
Kimmel: People got really mad, well, some people were very happy when you said you liked President Trump. … Do you think he is a good president?
West: “I knew you were going to ask me. Can I answer the first question you were going to ask me? … It’s funny in this world that we live in there are two main motivating forces. I tweet about it all the time. It’s love or fear. You can’t explain love. You know my cousin is locked up for murder and I love him. He did a bad thing, but I still love him. And just as a musician, African-American guy in Hollywood, all of these different things, you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me and told me every time I said I liked Donald Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over, or I’d get kicked out of the black community … because we’re supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats and all.
He continued: Even when I said it, right before I went to the hospital [see note below] and I expressed myself. And when I came out I had lost my confidence. I didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash and it took me a year-and-a-half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat no matter what the consequences were. And what it represented to me is not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that, but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anyone says… You can’t bully me. Liberals can’t bully me. News can’t bully me. The Hip Hop community, they can’t bully me because at that point if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer Ye. That’s what makes Ye. … I actually quite enjoy when people are mad at me about certain things.”
In November 2016, West was hospitalized, reportedly on a psychiatric hold, after canceling his Saint Pablo national concert tour. That had followed a week of outbursts against fellow entertainers – including Beyonce and Jay Z – and his post-election endorsement of Donald Trump.