Trump, West share praise-filled tweets

Rapper Kanye West (right) showed his admiration for United States President Donald Trump (left) on Wednesday in a string of tweets, saying that they both have "dragon energy".
Rapper Kanye West showed his admiration for United States President Donald Trump (above) on Wednesday in a string of tweets, saying that they both have "dragon energy".PHOTO: REUTERS
Rapper Kanye West (right) showed his admiration for United States President Donald Trump (left) on Wednesday in a string of tweets, saying that they both have "dragon energy".
Rapper Kanye West (above) showed his admiration for United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday in a string of tweets, saying that they both have "dragon energy".PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • As crazy as it seems - though in this world, that is a high bar - the mercurial United States President accused of racist comments and the bombastic rapper accused of supporting him have long seemed to enjoy each other's company.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West joined forces again, this time on Twitter, with Mr Trump thanking West for his public praise, including an assertion that the two were brothers who shared "dragon energy".

In a string of tweets, West had tried to defend his admiration for the President.

"You don't have to agree with Trump, but the mob can't make me not love him," West wrote. "We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."

West also tweeted a picture of his Trump-signed "Make America Great Again" hat and wrote: "I love Hillary too", referring to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost to Mr Trump.

But the tweets caused bedlam among West's fans. They had begun debating his mental stability earlier on Wednesday, after he confirmed he had parted ways with his manager Scooter Braun and his lawyers.

West wrote on Twitter: "I no longer have a manager. I can't be managed."

But the rapper kept the door open for the manager to return, tweeting: "I'd like Scooter Braun to be a part of this new platform we're creating. Scooter is a genius."

West had been working with Mr Braun, the powerful music industry figure behind Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, since 2016. Mr Braun declined to comment.

The positive relationship West enjoys with Mr Trump is glaring, particularly because the rapper has been vocal about how past presidents handled relations with African-Americans. He once accused president George W. Bush on live television of not caring about black people and had openly criticised president Barack Obama.

Mr Trump, who has used vulgar language to disparage a number of majority-black communities and countries, has not been the subject of West's critiques.

The rapper has long appeared to be fascinated with the presidential platform: In 2015, he seemed to enjoy provoking the public into believing he was interested in a 2020 run. And in 2016, after he was hospitalised for a "psychiatric emergency", he visited Mr Trump, then the president-elect, at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

The bond between the two apparently alarmed West's wife Kim Kardashian, who was a vocal supporter of the Clinton campaign and has openly criticised Mr Trump's handling of major events, including the hurricane response in Puerto Rico.

Indeed, West tweeted: "My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don't agree with everything Trump does."

On Wednesday, she blamed the media for pushing the idea that her husband is mentally ill for supporting the President.

"He's a free thinker, is that not allowed in America?" she wrote. "Because some of his ideas differ from yours, you have to throw in the mental health card? That's just not fair."

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'Trump, West share praise-filled tweets'. Print Edition | Subscribe