President-Elect Donald Trump met with rapper Kanye West at Trump Tower on Tuesday, Breitbart News reports. The meeting came after Trump canceled a planned press conference where he was to explain how he will extricate himself from his business conflicts-of-interest before taking office on January 20. That press conference, originally scheduled for December 15, has been pushed back until January, well after the December 19 Electoral College vote that will make him president.
West’s meeting with Trump likely garnered headlines that would have otherwise been devoted to exploring the extent of the potential conflicts. Vox reports that as president, the conflicts facing Trump include that he:
- Could be influenced by having a number of large projects active in at least 17 other countries
- Owes vast sums of money to Deutsche Bank
- Is involved in labor and regulatory issues affecting his operations in the U.S. and beyond
- Has foreign countries trying to gain favor by patronizing his US business and helping his foreign businesses with permit issues
- Does not have an adequate plan to put his businesses in a blind trust, instead planning to let his children run them
- Has still not released his tax returns, so it is not clear who he owes money to and how he might be influenced
West’s meeting with Trump was particularly newsworthy because it is one of West’s first public outings since being hospitalized for exhaustion and sleep deprivation on November 21. Breitbart News reports that West arrived at Trump Tower on Tuesday morning with his entourage and cameraman in tow, and that after the meeting Trump and West posed for pictures in the lobby while shaking hands.
It’s not clear why Trump was unable to address the conflicts he will face as president more specifically at this time. On December 12 he stated via Twitter:
“I will be leaving my businesses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”
Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
Breitbart reports that as West was leaving, Trump told him to take care of himself.