Kanye West met Republican President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Tuesday, sending social media into a frenzy and fueling speculation about a possible performance at Trump’s inauguration or an informal administration role for the rapper.
West, 39, and Trump posed for photographers in the lobby of the midtown Manhattan office and apartment building after meeting privately upstairs. It was the first major outing by West since he was released on Nov. 30, after a week in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital with an unexplained condition, and quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter, reports Reuters.
Asked about the purpose of the 15-minute meeting, Trump told reporters: “Friends, just friends. He’s a good man. Long time. Friends for a long time.”
West, looking solemn and sporting a new blond hairdo, gave no explanation, giving a thumbs up and saying only, “I’m just here to take a picture right now.” He was without his wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian.
West made headlines in November when he was booed at a concert for declaring his support for Trump, although he said he had not voted in the Nov. 8 presidential election. The “Jesus Walks” rapper also had declared he planned to run for U.S. president in 2020.
E! News, whose E! network broadcasts reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” said West had discussed becoming an “ambassador of sorts” for the Trump administration.
Quoting a source close to the rapper, E! News said Trump reached out to West. “Trump thinks he’s a great role model when it comes to business,” the source said.
Representatives of West did not return calls for comment.
Tuesday’s visit also came as Trump’s team was planning details of his Jan. 20 inauguration. Asked by reporters whether he is considering performing at the inauguration, West did not respond.
Music stars including Beyonce, Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election and no celebrities have yet been announced as taking part in the inauguration, although country singer Garth Brooks is in discussions to perform.
“Will Kanye perform at Trump’s presidential inauguration”? celebrity commentator Lailah Lynn asked on Twitter.