WASHINGTON - Does rap megastar Kanye West support Donald Trump? He loves him and proved it on Thursday by suddenly striding from his chair at a surreal White House meeting to hug the president.
"I love this guy right here," the serial Grammy-winning artist declared in the Oval Office, before taking the president in his arms.
The rapper had been invited to lunch to discuss prison reform but turned what would ordinarily have been a staid White House photo-op into possibly one of the more unusual and profanity-laden encounters in the Oval Office's storied history.
Talking loudly and rapidly on everything from Trump's protectionist trade policies to replacing Air Force One with a hydrogen plane, black gun crime, being married to Kim Kardashian and "infinite amounts of the universe," West left the normally loquacious president nearly speechless.
"That was quite something," Trump finally said to laughter from astonished senior aides and journalists at the end of the soliloquy, which West punctuated with bangs of his fist on the legendary Resolute desk, used by presidents since the 1880s.
"It was from the soul. I just channelled it," the musician said, adding -- to further gasps -- that Trump "might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West supporting him."
Trump said West "could very well be" future presidential material, to which the rapper said he would not want to get in the way of the Republican's 2020 reelection.
"Only after him in 2024," West said.