Kanye West sat down with Weeping Jimmy Kimmel Thursday evening, marking his first appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in five years, and the rapper was adamant that he would not be bullied over his support for President Donald Trump.
The late night comedian, who missed his calling as a CNN reporter, commented on West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, meeting with Trump back in May to make a clemency request on behalf of a non-violent first-time drug offender serving life, to set up a cheap shot at the president.
“Were you ever concerned about her being alone in the Oval Office with President Trump?” Kimmel asked.
“Well, he is a player,” West joked, making light of the barb.
Not satisfied, Kimmel, a resident member of the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd, asked his guest if he thinks Trump is a good president, but West wasn’t about to be put on the spot for supporting the president, or get drawn into a debate over his actions.
“Everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me,” he said, “and then told me every time I said I 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, blacks can only be Democrats and all.”
West said he had lost his confidence after being released from the hospital — the rapper, who has since revealed that he is bi-polar, was hospitalized in late 2016 for exhaustion — and explained that acknowledging his support for Trump marked a milestone for him.
“So I didn’t have the confidence to take on the world and the possible backlash,” he explained. “And it took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat. No matter what the consequences were.”
To include being bullied by the left and their media allies.
“And what it represented to me is nothing 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, in saying, you can’t bully me,” West 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,'” he concluded. “I actually quite enjoy when people actually are mad at me about certain things.”
Kimmel would later put West on the spot again over Trump’s “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration, which would sometimes involve separating children from their parents when the parents were arrested for breaking U.S. immigration laws.
Drawing on the rapper having once said that George W. Bush didn’t care about black people, Kimmel asked him, “What makes you think that Donald Trump does — or any people at all?”
As West mulled the question, thinking of how to avoid the political trap laid before him, Kimmel suddenly cuts to break before the rapper responds — setting up nicely the subsequent headlines that he was rendered “silent.”