In perhaps the most surreal moment for an administration that has seen plenty of them, President Trump on Thursday welcomed Kanye West to the White House. The rapper then gave what amounted to a ringing endorsement of Trumps presidency during a wide-ranging speech that touched on such topics as crime rates in Chicago, mental health, slavery, aerospace technology and the Unabomber.
Trump is on his heros journey right now, West said, wearing a red Make America Great Again hat as he was seated across from the president at the Resolute Desk. And he might not have expected to have a crazy motherf***er like Kanye West run up and support, but best believe, we are going to make America great again.
“What I need Saturday Night Live to improve on or what I need the liberals to improve on is if he dont look good, we dont look good. This is our president. He has to be the freshest, the flyest, the flyest planes, the best factories, and we have to make our core be empowered, we have to bring jobs,” he said.
The lunch meeting was supposed to be about prison reform. But West quickly veered off topic as Trump, NFL great Jim Brown, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Secret Service agents and the assembled press pool looked on.
In an extraordinary, mostly uninterrupted rant, West said that he was recently diagnosed as being bipolar, but he insisted the diagnosis was wrong and that he was merely sleep-deprived.
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West said he wanted to abolish the trap door called the 13th Amendment, because, he said, when the amendment was written it was illegal for blacks to read.
That meant if you actually read the amendment, youd get locked up and turned into a slave! West exclaimed, clapping his hands for emphasis.
At one point, West stood up and reached across the table to show Trump a picture of a hydrogen-powered plane, which the rapper told the president ought to replace Air Force One.
This is what our president should be flying in, West said, adding that he wants Apple to help him develop the aforementioned plane.
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West, who has become one of Trumps most outspoken supporters, stirred controversy in an appearance on NBCs Saturday Night Live last month when he wore a Make America Great Again hat during his performance and delivered a pro-Trump speech to the studio audience.
In an interview with Fox & Friends earlier Thursday, Trump claimed that when West first expressed support for him, his poll numbers went up like 25 percent.
Its unclear what polling data the president was referring to. According to the most recent Gallup poll, Trumps job approval rating stands at 43 percent, while 53 percent of Americans disapprove. Gallup also found just 10 percent of African-Americans approve of the job Trump is doing.
I like him a lot, Trump said of West in that interview. Hes been a friend of mine. Ive known him for a long time. Hes a very different kind of a guy — I say that in a positive way. But he is a different kind of a guy.
Video: Kanye West meets with President Trump at White House – Warning: Stream may contain profanity
Kanye West did lunch with President Trump Thursday, but pre-empted the meal with a wildly entertaining and decidedly bizarre press conference in which he covered Superman, the 13th and Second amendments, North Korea and his budding MAGA bromance with the commander in chief.
West began the much-anticipated sit-down by praising Trump's efforts in North Korea saying, "On day one you solved one of [Obama's] biggest troubles. We solved one of the biggest problems."
Kanye just unlocked his iPhone before the TV cameras in the Oval Office. And his password is just 0 repeatedly pic.twitter.com/mOAbhRLr7s
The conversation turned to West discussing the lack of support he received from his Hollywood cohorts with regards to his support of the president.
"They tried to scare me to not wear this hat," West said, referring to his "Make America Great Again" hat he wore to the meeting and on a recent appearance on "Saturday Night Live."
"When I put this hat on, it made me feel like Superman – my favorite superhero. You made a Superman cape for me."
Rapper Kanye West shows President Donald Trump a photograph of a hydrogen plane during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Washington.
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The rapper went on to chastise the NBC sketch show and other liberal-leaning media members for their portrayal of the American president.
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"What I need 'SNL' and liberals to improve on is, if he don't look good, we don't look good. He has to be the freshest, the flyest, have the flyest planes. He has to look good!" West said. "When we make everything in China and not America, we’re cheating on our country."
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West discussed many topics in a rambling dialogue that included everything from bringing manufacturing to the country, his personal business deals, ending stop-and-frisk in Chicago and the 13th Amendment.
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"There's a lot of things that affect our mental health that put us into this trap door that is the 13th Amendment," West said.
Rapper Kanye West speaks with Ivanka Trump after meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2018. (uld read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Jack Jenkins, a reporter for Religion News Service, was in attendance to capture the moment with his phone and share it on Twitter. Jenkins says West told the crowd an anecdote about having made a custom hat for Trump with an edited version of his signature Make American Great Again slogan, with the again cut out as it was disrespect to black Americans.
West went on to reference his recent bipolar disorder diagnosis saying that he was misdiagnosed by a doctor and said he was merely sleep-deprived.
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"Illegal guns is the problem, not legal guns, we have the right to bear arms," he said bluntly.
The whole scenario seems a bit surreal, and Jenkins says it concluded when West left the store, telling the crowd he was going to Africa. Nobody at the Apple Store appeared to have any prior knowledge of this event, or really any idea what had just transpired for that matter.
Overall, West was complimentary to the president, even at one point saying he loved him and running around the Resolute desk to hug him.
President Donald Trump hugs rapper Kanye West during a meeting in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Getty)
Apple Store employees wouldnt comment on why Kanye was there, except one under his breath.Me: Why was Kanye here?Him: Man, I think just being extra.
The rapper's statement lasted nearly 10 minutes before the president chimed in to compliment West on his honesty.
"I tell you what, that was pretty impressive," Trump said after West seemed to run out of steam. "That was quite something."
When asked if West’s previous declarations that he’ll run for president seem reasonable to Trump, he noted that he thinks Kanye “could very well be” candidate material.
Rapper Kanye West speaks to President Donald Trump and others in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Washington.
Former NFL legend and actor Jim Brown was in the meeting along with senior advisor and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Trump asked Brown what he thought of the scene, to which he replied, “I’m here to serve.”
The Chicago-raised rapper and the New York real estate mogul-turned president have a long friendship that goes back before the 2016 election.
When West declared in 2015 he would run for president in 2020 during a 2015 VMAs acceptance speech, Trump, then just a presidential candidate, was not fazed, and welcomed the competition.
Trump also defended West as a “nice guy” and “actually a different kind of person than people think.”
“He’s said very nice things about me in the past … extremely positive things,” Trump said.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Trump said at the time. He said the bombastic pair discussed “life.”
West later said online that he met with Trump in 2016 “to discuss multiracial issues” such as “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculum and violence in Chicago.”
“I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,” he said in the since-deleted tweets.
West has received a lot of backlash from fans and his fellow celebrities for his support of the president. (AP)
West has received a lot of backlash from fans and his fellow celebrities for his support of the president including a recent slew of criticism from several members of “Saturday Night Live” who bashed West after going on a pro-Trump rant at the end of the show earlier this month.
“What Kanye said after we went off the air last week was one of the worst, most awkward things I’ve seen here, and I’ve seen Chevy Chase speak to an intern,” "SNL" star Pete Davidson joked in a skit the following week.
West explained to the New York Times in June why he supports Trump, saying there are many more Trump supporters in Hollywood who are just afraid to come forward.
“There were people who said Trump would never win,” West said in the interview. “I’m talking about the it-will-never-happens of the world, people in high school told you things would never happen.”
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West said he had been an underdog his entire career, and that drew him to Trump, a man who many felt could never win the presidency. He claimed the two shared “dragon energy."
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“I felt that I knew people who voted for Trump that were celebrities that were scared to say that they liked him,” he said. "But they told me, and I liked him, and I’m not scared to say what I like. Let me come over here and get in this fight with you.”
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The star went on to describe breaking free of the "mob-thought" that made him feel obligated to support Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election because of his celebrity and status.
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“Kanye West gets it,” Trump said. “When he sees that African-American unemployment is the lowest in history, you know people are watching. That’s a very important thing he’s done for his legacy.”
Trump also returned the accolades tweeting in April, “Kanye West has performed a great service to the Black Community – Big things are happening and eyes are being opened for the first time in Decades – Legacy stuff.”