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LOS ANGELES - Kanye West was unusually quiet when asked a direct question about President Donald Trump’s empathy for others -- namely African-Americans -- during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
The controversial rapper and Grammy winner joined Kimmel Thursday and discussed an array of topics, including his mental health, his wife Kim Kardashian West’s trip to Washington, D.C., to meet Trump and his own political thoughts.
When asked about whether he thinks Trump is a good president, West, 41, was somewhat metaphorical.
“It’s funny, you know, in this world we live in, there’s two main motivating forces and I tweet about it all the time. It’s love or fear and you can’t explain love,” West said. “You know, my cousin is locked up for murder and I love him. And so he did a bad thing, but I still love him.”
“And just as a musician, African-American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things -- you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me,” he said. “And then told me every time I said liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over. I’d get kicked out of the black community because blacks, we are supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only be Democrats and all.”
West said he mentioned supporting Trump before his hospitalization, but it took more than a year after to gain the confidence to show support for Trump regardless of the consequences.
“What it represented to me is not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that, but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anyone said and saying, ‘You can’t bully me,’” he said. “Liberals can’t bully me; news can’t bully me; the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me. Because at that point, if I’m afraid to be me, I’m no longer Ye. That’s what makes Ye. And I actually quite enjoy when people actually are mad at me about certain things.”
But West was silent when Kimmel asked him pointedly about Trump’s policies that seem to indicate a lack of empathy for people.
“There are families being torn apart at the border of this country. There are literally families being torn apart as a result of what this president is doing and I think that, you know, we can not forget that,” Kimmel said. “Whether we like his personality or not, his actions are what matter. You so famously and so powerfully said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ What makes you think that Donald Trump does -- or any people at all?”
West tilted his head to think about his answer, and Kimmel tossed to a commercial break.
For more from West’s interview, including what he says he meant on his comments on slavery, the meaning behind songs on his album, being stuck in the past, his mental health and other topics, go to YouTube.com.