Kanye West May Be Running A ‘Spoiler Campaign’ That Could Help Reelect Donald Trump, ‘NYT’ Reports

Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Kanye West may be running a “spoiler campaign” with the goal of helping President Donald Trump get reelected. According to a report from The New York Times, four individuals — and possibly more — who have been active in conservative politics in the past, have been attempting to help West get on the ballot for the White House in 2020.

“The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer’s run and whether it is regarded within the G.O.P. as a spoiler campaign that could aid Trump, even as those close to Mr. West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena,” The Times wrote.

Though West recently distanced himself from Trump, he has been an ardent supporter of the president in the past. He visited the White House and praised Trump for his masculinity and energy. He has also reportedly become friends with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

In spite of all that, on July 4, the entertainer announced that he was making a bid for the oval office in 2020 under the Birthday Party and held his first event in South Carolina. Since then, four individuals who have worked for Republican election efforts in the past have been identified as working on his White House bid. This has prompted some to question if the bid is an attempt to siphon voters, particularly black ones, away from Joe Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden delivers a campaign speech at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 08, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. 22 of the 23 politicians seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination will be visiting the fair this week, six months ahead of the all-important Iowa caucuses.
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Among those identified as working on the campaign is Chuck Wilton. Wilton was appointed by Trump to work at the United States Department of Agriculture, raising questions about his ties to the current president. Wilton is an elector and a convention delegate, which means he could be called upon to cast an Electoral College vote for West in November.

Additionally, Gregg Keller, who used to direct the Republican American Conservative Union, is working for the West effort in Arkansas. Mark Jacoby, who leads Let the Voters Decide, has spearheaded efforts to get the Yeezy mogul onto the ballot in three different states. Jacoby has worked for the GOP party in the past and was arrested over voter fraud allegations in 2008, to which he pled guilty.

“We do not comment on any current clients, but like all Americans, anyone who is qualified to stand for election has the right to run,” Jacoby said.

The fourth individual, Lane Ruhland, worked for the Republican National Committee in 2016 and is currently a GOP elections lawyer.

However, the Times wrote that if the strategy is to pull votes from Biden, West’s team is making some unusual moves. This includes running in Arkansas, which is highly likely to go for Trump already. On the other hand, Wisconsin is a key battleground state and one that West’s team is active in.

West is considered unlikely to win, which has raised questions as to why he persists in running.