Kim Kardashian Meets President Trump to Discuss Prison Reform
Donald Trump has met reality TV star Kim Kardashian West as she visited the White House to advocate on behalf of a woman serving a life sentence for drug offences.
The US president confirmed the meeting via Twitter, writing, “Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing.”
He included a picture of the two in the Oval Office.
Kardashian West has been urging Mr Trump to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, 63, who has spent more than two decades behind bars and is not eligible for parole.
The celebrity had also been expected to meet with Mr Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who is overseeing the administration’s push to overhaul the nation’s prison system.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Mr Kushner has led a White House effort to build support for legislation that would help prisoners as they re-enter society and better develop work skills while they are incarcerated.
Some critics of the effort say it doesn’t go far enough and want lawmakers to include reductions in sentencing guidelines, a step opposed by the White House and the Justice Department.
Afterwards, Kardashian West thanked Mr Trump for the meeting.
She wrote: “I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.”
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
She added: “We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she -and so many like her-will get a second chance at life.”
Kardashian, dressed in black, arrived at a side entrance to the West Wing late on Wednesday afternoon. She was in the building for just under an hour.
She appeared to preview the visit on her Twitter feed, writing: “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you.”
A rare A-list celebrity to visit the White House since Trump took office, Kardashian West was seen posing for photos in front of the West Wing before entering.
Attorney Brittany K. Barnett, a member of Johnson’s legal team, said Kardashian West had hoped to discuss the issue with Mr Trump directly.
In an interview with Mic, Kardashian West said she’d been moved by Johnson’s story after seeing a video by the news outlet.
“I think that she really deserves a second chance at life,” Kardashian told Mic. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get her out.”
Kardashian West said in the interview she’d been in touch with Kushner over the case and that, if she had the chance to bring it up with Mr Trump, she’d tell him, “I really do believe that she’s going to really thrive outside of prison, and I would just urge him to please pardon her.”
Mr Trump last week granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing’s first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson’s name more than 100 years after what many saw as a racially charged conviction.
The boxer’s pardon had been championed by actor Sylvester Stallone, who Trump said had brought the story to his attention in a phone call.
Trump has issued just a handful of pardons, including one for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a staunch campaign supporter; one for Scooter Libby, who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney; and one for a U.S. Navy sailor convicted of taking photos of classified portions of a submarine.
Kardashian West supported Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 election.
But her husband, rapper Kanye West, sparked a social media maelstrom earlier this month with his support for Mr Trump.
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