Kanye West says he ‘loves’ Trump at White House lunch

US rapper says wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hat makes him feel like Superman

US rapper Kanye West has effusively praised president Donald Trump in an expletive-ridden speech in the Oval Office.

West made the speech as he attended a lunch meeting with Mr Trump in the White House on Thursday along with former NFL player Jim Brown.

The rapper said that wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, a symbol of the Trump campaign, made him feel like “Superman”.

He also said that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but was in fact just sleep-deprived.


Mr Trump nodded in approval as West spoke.

At one point, West rose from his chair and hugged Mr Trump. “I love this guy,” he said.

Referring to the “Make America Great Again” hat he was wearing, West said: “They tried to scare me, my friends, to not wear this hat, but this hat, it gives me power in a way.”

He added: “You know, my dad and my mum separated, so I didn’t have a lot of male energy in my home.”

He continued: “I love Hillary [Clinton], I love everyone, right.”

Asked by reporters about accusations that Mr Trump is racist, West replied: “As black people we have to take responsibility for what we’re doing. We kill each other more than police officers.”

Criminal justice

Among the topics under discussion at the meeting were prison reform and the criminal justice system.

Referring to a 68-year-old prisoner whose case he raised with Mr Trump, West said: “The reason why they imprisoned him is because he started doing positive for the community; he started showing that he actually had power, he wasn’t just one of a monolithic voice, that he could wrap people around.”

As Mr Trump spoke about North Korea, West interjected: "You stopped the war."

West has attracted some criticism from fans for expressing his admiration for Mr Trump. His wife, Kim Kardashian-West, has held several meetings in the White House on the issue of prison reform. She successfully lobbied the US president to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a prisoner serving a sentence for a non-violent drug offence.

Earlier this week pop singer Taylor Swift announced on Instagram that she was endorsing two Democratic candidates in the state of Tennessee for the forthcoming mid-term elections. It marks the first public intervention by the star in the realm of politics.

Urging young people to vote in next month’s election, she wrote: “So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count.”

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent