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Kushner confirms he met with Kanye amid scrutiny of rapper’s 2020 campaign

Quint Forgey

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner confirmed Thursday that he had a “friendly discussion” with Kanye West in Colorado last weekend, but did not say whether they discussed the rapper’s presidential campaign.

“So, Kanye’s been a friend of mine for — I’ve known him for about 10 years. And, you know, we talk every now and then about different things. And we both happened to be in Colorado, and so we got together,” Kushner told reporters at a White House news briefing.

“We had a great discussion about a lot of things,” he added. “He has some great ideas for what he’d like to see happen in the country, and that’s why he has the candidacy that he’s been doing. But again, there’s a lot of issues that the president’s championed that he admires, and it was just great to have a friendly discussion.”

Pressed on whether they specifically discussed West’s campaign, Kushner said: “We had a general discussion more about policy.”

The remarks from President Donald Trump’s son-in-law come after The New York Times reported that West, after a camping trip with his family in Colorado, flew to meet privately with Kushner and White House adviser Ivanka Trump in Telluride, a ski resort town in the southwest part of the state.

West appeared to confirm the meeting took place in a tweet posted Tuesday, writing that he and Kushner discussed the book “PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America” by Claud Anderson.

West announced on Twitter last month that he was running for president and told Forbes in an interview that he was no longer a Trump supporter. “I am taking the red hat off,” he said.

In another interview with Forbes last week, West did not deny that his candidacy was intended to serve as a spoiler to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.

West’s quixotic White House bid has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks amid efforts by some Trump supporters and Republican operatives to help him organize and get on the ballot in battleground states.

Kushner, too, has become mired in controversy among critics who argue his potential boosting of West’s campaign to benefit Trump could constitute an illegal act.

Although West has successfully filed paperwork as a third-party candidate in fewer than a dozen states, it remains unclear whether he will appear on the ballot in the key states of Ohio and Wisconsin.

West missed the deadline to file as a third-party candidate in 10 states, but he has said he will rely on write-in votes in states where his name is not printed on the ballot.