During a coronavirus briefing held on Wednesday, Donald Trump tried to redirect questions about whether or not the Republican Party was assisting Kanye West's presidential bid in swing states by praising his wife, Kim Kardashian, instead, Hollywood Life reported.
Details about the GOP's purported involvement in the "Wash Us In the Blood" singer's campaign surfaced on August 4 when multiple outlets alleged that an attorney with connections to Trump, Lane Ruhland, took signatures to election officials in Wisconsin to ensure West would appear on the ballot. If true, it would seem to indicate that Republicans were attempting to encourage citizens to vote for him rather than Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
A journalist in attendance at the latest news conference directly asked Trump if he knew anything about the accusations, noting that "at least two people connected to Kanye West's effort to get on the ballot have been connected to the Republican Party."
Trump said he knew nothing of the allegations, and instead added that he had always liked West because he has "always been very nice."
Changing tactics, the reporter pressed the issue again, suggesting the president might have "encouraged" GOP members to promote the Yeezy founder in swing states.
Instead of answering the question directly, Trump deflected by talking about Kardashian and praising her criminal justice reform work.
He said the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star "recommended certain people" like Alice Johnson "to get out of prison."
"They were in prison for a long time, a long, long time. It should have never happened."According to him, he took her suggestions seriously because he believes the mother-of-four has "a good heart" and he likes her husband "very much."
CBS News shared a clip of the press conference via its official Twitter account, which can be viewed here. The footage documents the exchange and the president's glowing praise for the celebrity couple.
Trump did eventually flat out deny having anything to do with the 43-year-old rapper's election plans.
"No, I don't have anything to do with him getting on the ballot," he said, concluding that we would all just have to wait and find out what happens.
In response to the conference, Hollywood Life reached out to the Republican Party and Ruhland for comment.
"There's no conflict to waive but we have no knowledge of anything Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him," said Trump 2020 campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.
Trump's latest remarks on West echo similar statements he has made in the past. In early July, when the U.S. leader learned of the rapper's presidential plans, he remarked that West was "always going to be for us."