WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday confirmed that he had met recently with entertainer Kanye West, who is seeking to get his name on ballots for the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.
West is a supporter of Republican President Donald Trump, and some view his bid to run for president himself as intended to have a spoiling effect that would help Trump and hurt Democrat Joe Biden.
Asked whether he had discussed the campaign with West, Kushner told reporters at the White House: “We had a general discussion, more about policy.”
Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and an influential political adviser to the president, said he and West had known each other for some time and met when they both were in Colorado.
West posted a tweet late Tuesday night saying they discussed a book on empowering Black Americans.
Biden served as vice president under President Barack Obama, the country’s first Black president. Biden announced this week that Senator Kamala Harris of California would be his running mate. Harris is the first Black woman and the first Indian American to be part of a major-party presidential ticket.
Biden benefited from strong support from Black voters in his quest to become the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
A West run for office could be seen as a maneuver to siphon some Black supporters away from Biden in the general election.
Biden is leading Trump in national opinion polls, thanks partly to voter dissatisfaction over the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and to the nationwide protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)