Kanye West Announces 2024 Presidential Bid

Washington-The National Desk - November 28, 2022 6:12 am

FILE - Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Rapper Kanye West announced on social media Thursday that he is running for the office of President of the United States in 2024.

He launched his campaign – his second for the White House, following a truncated attempt in 2020 marked by a late announcement, resulting in West being on the ballot in only 12 states and receiving around 66,365 votes total – with a series of posts on Twitter Thursday evening, showcasing praise for Ye – he legally changed his name to “Ye” in 2021 – by media personalities and criticism by activists.

The first video, titled “Mar-a-Lago Debrief” features Ye recapping a meeting he had Tuesday with former President Donald Trump at the latter’s Florida resort residence. Ye said he asked Trump to be his running mate. The former president was “Most perturbed about me asking him to be my vice president. I think that was lower on the list of things that caught him off guard.”

In the video, West also claims he asked Trump why he did not do more for those arrested on charges connected to their participation in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “My question would be, ‘Why, when you had the chance, did you not free the January sixers?’” He also says he encouraged Trump to pick up former staffers and allies like Corey Lewandowski and Roger Stone for the campaign (although it was not clear if West meant for Trump’s campaign or the suggested Ye-Trump ticket).

West was spotted at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday with far-right activist Nick Fuentes . Fuentes, who has promoted white supremacist beliefs, is believed to be working on West’s campaign. West suggested so Thursday when he shared a screen shot on Twitter from a text message thread titled “YE24” between himself, a user “Nicholas YE24 Fuentes” and “Milo YE24 Yiannopoulos.” West was captured with British far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos by paparazzi on Monday; West told the gathered paparazzi then that he was running and Yiannopoulos was working on the campaign. Yiannopoulos rose to notoriety as the “tech editor” for Breitbart – where he was accused of normalizing alt-right views – during the mid-2010s though his public profile diminished significantly in 2017 after it was uncovered that he made controversial remarks about pedophilia on a podcast in 2016 (He most recently served as an intern for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.).

Nicholas Fuentes, poses for a photo in his basement studio in LaGrange Park, Ill., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

According to West, Trump did not take the invitation to be running mates – or the idea of his presidential campaign at all – well. “When Trump started basically screaming at me at the table telling me I was going to lose — I mean has that ever worked for anyone in history. I’m like hold on, hold on, hold on, Trump, you’re talking to Ye,” West said in his “Mar-a-Lago Debrief” video.

FILE – In this Feb. 21, 2017 file photo, former editor of Breitbart Tech Milo Yiannopoulos speaks during a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

West’s campaign comes after several months of scandals and highly publicized scrutiny for the rapper fashion designer and would-be leader of the free world. In October, West appeared with conservative pundit Candace Owens at Paris Fashion Week wearing shirts with the phrase “White Lives Matter” embossed on the back. The move brought West condemnation from political activists, figures within the fashion industry and by the Anti-Defamation League. Later that month, West – in a since-deleted tweet – posted that he would “go defcon 3 on Jewish people.” Shortly thereafter he was suspended from Twitter, was dropped by his talent agency and was cut off by collaborations like Adidas, Gap and Balenciaga. West said he lost $2 billion in a day as a result, in a since-deleted Instagram post.

West has not stated whether he is seeking the nomination of a major party or running as an independent.

 

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