Rapper Kanye West is expected to meet president Donald Trump and his son-in-law adviser Jared Kushner at the White House on Thursday, The New York Times reported.
According to the newspaper, citing a source briefed on the meeting, West will discuss job opportunities for former convicts and employment issues in Chicago, where he was raised. In September, the musician claimed he was moving to Chicago and “never leaving again.”
A representative for West confirmed the meeting was scheduled, the Times reported.
The two men—known to have tweeted pleasantries at each other—previously met in Trump Tower, New York City, in December 2016, before the president formally took office. “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues,” the rapper wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
“These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago,” he added. “I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change.” Trump told press they had been “friends for a long time.”
Kanye West’s celebrity wife, Kim Kardashian West, successfully appealed to Trump and Kushner earlier this year for the pardon of Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for non-violent drug trafficking charges. The 63-year-old was granted a commutation by Trump on June 6.
The rapper’s support for the president doesn’t appear to have wavered. In April 2018, West tweeted: “You don’t have to agree with trump, but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother.” Trump later replied: “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”
West waded into controversy during a September appearance on Saturday Night Live, where he was recorded ranting about the Democratic Party and praising the president. West, who was wearing a red Make America Great Again cap, claimed that he was bullied while backstage. The comments were not broadcast to the public, but footage emerged on social media.
Only a day later, the rapper appeared to tweet that he believed the 13th Amendment—which outlawed slavery in the 1800s—should be abolished, although he later clarified his comment. Still, the tweet was widely-criticized, including by actor Chris Evans.
Last weekend on SNL, comedian Pete Davidson joked: “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.”
For reasons that remain unclear, West deleted his Twitter account on October 7. As reported, he previously went on a social media hiatus from May 2017 to April this year. In the past, he has seemingly done so for publicity reasons. His reappearance, inevitably, will generate more buzz.