Reporter: Kanye visit was odd, sad

CNN's Dana Bash and Nia-Malika Henderson react to Kanye West's visit to the Oval Office with President Trump.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 4:36 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 5:08 PM

Imagine this: A president, concerned about the opioid crisis that is ravaging many communities, particularly white, Midwestern communities, invites a retired football player and a famous musician to talk about the crisis.

And imagine that this is one of the few high-level meetings he has about the crisis, which has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.

Well, that is kind of what just happened.

Not with the opioids, but with the critical, potentially lethal, issues facing many African-Americans across the country. On Thursday, President Donald Trump had a working lunch with Kanye West and retired football player Jim Brown.

This was the meeting's preview sent by the White House ahead of time: "The discussion will be centered on President Trump's historic work to benefit all Americans such as urban revitalization, the creation of Opportunity Zones, new workforce training programs, record highs in African American employment, the creation of manufacturing jobs, ideas from his meeting with African American pastors, potential future clemencies, and addressing the massive violent crime surge in Chicago."

Shorter readout: This was Trump's black people meeting.

What a meeting it was. No cameras were allowed in the lunch, but West's about 10-minute soliloquy in the Oval Office provided a window into the ground covered.

Here are some ideas West raised:

  • Bring Trump factories and Yeezy ideation centers to Chicago.
  • His MAGA hat makes him feel like a superhero.
  • Make the dopest ... no the "flyest" cars.
  • School is boring. Kids should play basketball while they are doing math.
  • Time doesn't exist.
  • Stop worrying about the future. We only have today.
  • Trump and Colin Kaepernick wearing "Make America Great" hats at the Super Bowl.
  • Stop-and-frisk is bad.
  • The solution to police brutality is love.
  • Something about an Iplane.
  • Opening up industries and tax breaks.
  • Something about liberals distracting black people by focusing on racism.

So, what were the goals here?

For Trump, it was a chance for him to say, Trump does care about black people, but don't take my word for it, listen to Kanye West.

But what the meeting highlighted was how few African-Americans Trump has in his circle. Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who wrote a scathing tell-all on Trump, hasn't been replaced.

The meeting also highlights how seriously Trump takes issues that his base doesn't really care about.

Rather than invite real policy experts, say on education or criminal justice, Trump brought before the cameras two famous black men who like him.

The result was about what one would expect -- a hard-to-parse, bizarre Oval Office moment with very little substance fueled by West's desperate need for attention and Trump's need for open adoration by famous people.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164
West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 68°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events