Exclusive new details about the ongoing conversations between the rap-and-sneaker mogul and “my boy”, the president’s son-in-law, just as his spoiler campaign is heating up.
ONEKanye West’s bizarre presidential campaign has moved from Twitter side shows to potential spoilers – the billionaire rapper released a website and campaign platform this week as he moves to attend meetings in key states ̵
While Republican operators are rushing to try to get him to vote across the country, New York Times reported earlier today that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, met West last weekend in Telluride, Colorado. The connection goes much further. West has told colleagues that he and Kushner speak “almost daily.” Forbes spoke with four people who have direct access to either West or Kushner, including two with direct knowledge of their calls.
One thing that particularly upsets the close-knit Yeezy sneaker mogul is his blatant deception about his chances of winning: When I pointed out to West last week in an interview that he will not be on enough votes to win and appeared intending to run a spoiler campaign designed to harm prospective Democratic nominee Joe Biden, he replied, “I’m not going to discuss with you. But a few hours after the story arose, West responded with a change of heart: “THE GOAL IS TO WIN”, he blew in a tweet that was liked more than 260,000 times.
And it seems to be the message that Kushner has fed him: “Jared is scared and does not want me to run because he knows I can win,” West has told many staff members after his conversations with the president’s in-laws, who also act as de facto head of Trump’s re-election campaign. That message, as sources close to the West acknowledge, is exactly what will bind West to stay in the race. “If you know him for more than 20 minutes, you know it will work,” says a Western confidant. Adds another: “He is just like a child. The more you tell him he can do nothing, the more he will do it. . . . he has a tremendous drive to prove people wrong. “
Kushner seems to have a great influence over the West. Their relationship helped bring West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to the White House for an immediately famous Oval Office meeting, and they collaborated on ideas to judge reforms.
He is mentally ill. When you have people around him who see him as an opportunity, they create a very, very bad scenario.
When I interviewed West on July 7, three days after he told the world he was driving, he spent the first hour thinking about whether he would actually follow through. The first person he told me to consult: Kushner. At the time, West also withdrew his support for Trump. “I remove the red hat with this interview.” However, he was curious about criticizing the president, past a grave about Trump who hid in the bunker during the Lafayette Park protests. “I was just talking to Jared,” he then told me. “It makes me seem to be attacking them. Trump is not attacking me, and I’m not attacking him, not even in this. I think it’s really nice to have a civilian [competition], where people’s friends get up and play ball, play basketball without anyone going to the hospital afterwards, you know? Biden was obviously not invited to the game: West did not need a request to go after the former vice president, whom he mocked as “not special.”
During this interview, West passed on the details of a previous conversation he had with Kushner. “I once spoke to Jared Kushner, who said, ‘We do not have black leaders – we only have hustlers.’ “Because they killed all the black leaders.” When we reached out later that day, before the publication, to fact-check the article, West unsuccessfully asked to have the anecdote removed. “I love Jared,” West said. just. . . it’s my boy, you know? That’s really my boy. So I prefer not to drop his name. “
West did not respond to requests for comment today, nor did Kushner’s White House press team. “We have no knowledge of what Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him,” Trump spokesman Tim Murtaugh said earlier this month, a statement that is clearly untrue. The president himself echoed that message to White House reporters: “I like Kanye very much,” he adds, “I have nothing to do with him being at the meeting. I’m not involved.”
The White House gambit, they say close to him, has accelerated the West’s mental problems (no doubt brilliant, he has previously said Forbes that he regards his bipolar condition as a “superpower”). “He is mentally ill,” says a Western friend. “When you have people around him who have the best intentions and do not need anything from him, you can steer him when he is in that space to a positive place. When you have people around him who see him as an opportunity, they create a very, very bad scenario. “
Some near the West feel that Kushner is now falling into the latter camp in a way that flirts with exploitation – regarding, after Kardashian West publicly asked for “compassion and empathy.” One described their understanding of Kushner’s conversations with West as “reverse psychology.” Others prescribe less harmful intent, although that story would require a level of naivety that would rank up there by sitting in a meeting in the Trump Tower with Russians who promise to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“Jared, why are you meeting him?” asks a source. “Tell him, ‘Hey, man, I saw you run for president – let’s talk when the election is over. “