Rapper Kanye West, who has attempted to mount a last-minute 2020 presidential campaign, met with White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as controversy swirls around the artist’s apparent bid for the White House.
The New York Times first reported, and Fox News confirmed, that the meeting happened last weekend in Telluride, Colo. West has met with Kushner and the president before to discuss racial justice issues, and has been a high-profile celebrity supporter of Trump. But in July he announced his presidential bid, and has since submitted paperwork for his name to appear on the presidential ballot in multiple states.
West’s campaign has been criticized as a possible effort to siphon votes from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, although it’s unclear that he would actually take more votes away from Biden than President Trump. In some cases, the people assisting West with his efforts to get on the ballot have been Republican political operatives. And West did not deny, in an interview with Forbes last week, that he was in the race in order to harm Biden.
When asked by Forbes if he was trying to hurt Biden’s chances, West said that he was “walking” for president, before adding that he’s “walking … to win,” according to the publication.
West in a Monday tweet said that he would do an interview with the Times about his conversation with Kushner, and that he spoke with the president’s son-in-law about a book by Claud Anderson called “PowerNomics,” which outlines “a five-year plan to make Black America a prosperous and empowered race that is self-sufficient and competitive as a group,” according to the publisher.
The Times said that West, instead of discussing the Kushner meeting in a follow-up interview, railed against abortion rates among Black women and said he does not automatically back Democrats.
West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, has appealed for compassion toward her husband as he embarks on his highly unusual presidential effort, citing his bipolar disorder.
However, it appears it’s no longer possible for West to win the presidential election with a standard Electoral College calculation.
“My understanding is that West has already missed enough deadlines that he has no path to 270 electoral votes,” Kyle Kondik from the University of Virginia Center for Politics told Fox News Tuesday on the state of West’s campaign. “And even in places where he has submitted signatures, there are questions about the validity of those signatures.”
It is theoretically possible that electors, in states where they are allowed to, could change their votes from Trump or Biden to West when they officially select the president, but such a movement has never happened on a large scale in the U.S. And if neither Trump nor Biden makes it to 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives could theoretically choose West – but the chamber almost certainly would not choose West for president.
Fox News’ Andrew Craft and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report
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