Kanye's lunch with Trump: Adidas and hydrogen-powered planes
Musician and fashion designer Kanye West had lunch with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday, where they talked in front of reporters about West's contract with Adidas, overhauling prison sentences, replacing Air Force One with a hydrogen-powered plane and other topics.
Invited to speak by Trump, West launched into a long, winding discourse, occasionally slapping the Resolute Desk for emphasis.
He told Trump he had stopped a potential war with North Korea. "Nice of you to say that because that's a big thing," Trump responded.
West asked Trump to pardon Larry Hoover, the alleged founder of a notorious Chicago street gang who's serving six life sentences in a federal supermax prison in Colorado.
He said his "Make America Great Again" hat gives him power. "When I put this hat on I felt like Superman," he told Trump.
West said the president had inspired him to sign a shoe design contract with Adidas. "You gave me the heart to go to Adidas," he told Trump. "This Adidas thing made me a billionaire."
Complaining about prison sentences, West said that people fall through a "trap door" and "end up next to the Unabomber."
"We don't need sentences, we need pardons," he said.
He told Trump that he tested in the 98th percentile for IQ and has been diagnosed bipolar, but then said he's sleep deprived. "We can empower the pharmaceuticals," he said.
He showed the president a video on his phone of a hydrogen-powered plane and said Trump should travel in it. "We'll get rid of Air Force One," Trump responded.
"I'll tell you what, that was pretty impressive," Trump said.
"It was from the soul, I just channeled it," West said.
Then he resumed.
Black people worry about racism over industry, he said. "We want a brand over our own land."
Commenting on police brutality, he said that if someone disrespects him he would have to shoot them. Police officers are just like us, he said.
"We have to release the love" in the country, he said.
He repeatedly mentioned the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlawed slavery. Racism, he said, is an invisible wall in the country. The number one thing he wanted to discuss with Trump, he said, is "stop and frisk" law enforcement practices that allow police to stop and search people on the street.
West said he doesn't think "stop and frisk" helps. Trump said last week Chicago should adopt the practice to combat high crime and murders in the city, but he told West "I'm open-minded, I'm here."
West warned reporters that he doesn't answer questions in sound bites. "You are tasting a fine wine that has multiple notes in it," he said.
It'd be cool to have "Trump factories," West added.
Returning to law enforcement issues and prison sentences, he called Hoover "a living statue" for black people.
"Illegal guns is the problem, not legal guns," he said. "We have the right to bear arms."
Trump asked West what he thought of the Oval Office. "It's a good energy," West said.
The two men hugged. "I love this guy," West said.
This article was written by Jennifer Jacobs, a reporter for The Washington Post.