‘I’m going to win’: Inside Kanye’s bizarre presidential bid

Kanye West has given more details about a possible US presidential run.

West told Forbes magazine he would be "taking the red hat off" switching his support from US President Donald Trump and starting his own party for 2020, "the Birthday Party."

West also said if Mr Trump wasn't running, he would run as a Republican, adding that, "I will run as an independent if Trump is there."

He said his third party will be called the Birthday Party, "Because when we win, it's everybody's birthday."

The billionaire sneaker mogul said he would run on an anti-abortion, anti-vaccine policy platform.

West named his top two advisers as wife, Kim Kardashian, and billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, who West said he "proposed to be the head of our space program".

West, who conceded that he had never voted before, has missed the deadline to appear on the ballot in a number of US states, but he said that he could be added because of the coronavirus.

He said he was "going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden" to make his bid happen.

But the rapper-turned-mogul did not hold back on his thoughts on Mr Biden's presidential bid.

"Obama's special. Trump's special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden's not special."

West had previously suggested he would run in 2024 and said whether he won the 2020 election or the following one, it would be by "God's appointment".


Kanye West said he would anoint fellow mogul Elon Musk “proposed head of our space program”.
Kanye West said he would anoint fellow mogul Elon Musk “proposed head of our space program”.


West has been an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump, even meeting him in the Oval Office, donning a red MAGA hat.

"One of the main reasons I wore the red hat [was] as a protest to the segregation of votes in the black community," West said. "Other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby."

West did not say specifically why he had stopped supporting Mr Trump.

"It looks like one big mess to me," he said. "I don't like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker."

But he did say, "Trump is the closest president we've had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation."

West, however, slammed the Democratic party.


Kanye West with Kim Kardashian. Picture: Getty Images
Kanye West with Kim Kardashian. Picture: Getty Images


"That is a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote.

"All of that information is being charged up on social media platforms by Democrats. And Democrats used to tell me, the same Democrats have threatened me …. The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared. I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over. I was threatened into being in one party.

"I was threatened as a Black man into the Democratic party. And that's what the Democrats are doing, emotionally, to my people. Threatening them to the point where this white man can tell a Black man if you don't vote for me, you're not Black," he said.

West also revealed that he may have contracted coronavirus in February.

"Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I'm supposed to do to get over it."




But he said he remained suspicious over any possible COVID-19 vaccine.

"It's so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralysed … So when they say the way we're going to fix COVID is with a vaccine, I'm extremely cautious. That's the mark of the beast.

"They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things to make it where we can't cross the gates of heaven."

West said that coronavirus was "all about God. We need to stop doing things that make God mad."

Answering suggestions that West's presidential bid is all about selling more copies of his new album, God's Country, West said, "I give my album away for free."


Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said that West's declaration that he is running for president was "very interesting."

Responding to West's claim that he would run against Mr Trump - for whom the musician has expressed support in the past, Mr Trump told reporters at the White House, "He may." The declaration by West, 43, on Twitter that he was gunning for the highest office in the land was retweeted half a million times and "liked" a million.

"If he did it, he would have to view this as a trial run for what's going to happen in four years," said Mr Trump, noting that it may be too late for West to register in some states, and that he lacks the infrastructure for a presidential bid.




West, who visited Mr Trump in the Oval Office in 2018 and donned a trademark "Make America Great Again" red baseball cap, announced his proposed run on Saturday, as the country celebrated Independence Day.

"We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," the music and fashion mogul said.

"I am running for president of the United States," he said, with an icon of a US flag and the hashtag "2020Vision." He has not provided any details about his alleged campaign.


Kanye West and Khloe Kardashian's companies were among those that received millions of dollars in the coronavirus bailout program.

Donald Trump's administration handed out up to $5 million ($A7.19 million) to support West's production company Yeezy which saved 160 jobs, the Treasury revealed on Monday, The Sun reports.

Kardashian - West's sister-in-law - also received a loan of up to $2 million ($A2.87 million) to support her denim brand Good American.

The companies were among around 700,000 businesses and non-profits who were handed cash as part of Mr Trump's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).



Kanye West. Picture: Getty Images
Kanye West. Picture: Getty Images



Khloe Kardashian. Picture: Getty Images
Khloe Kardashian. Picture: Getty Images


Firms owned by both West and Kardashian - who are worth $1.3 billion ($A1.87 billion) and $40 million ($A57.57 million) respectively - said the loans allowed them to save jobs.

Mr Trump rolled out the cash handouts to help inject billions into the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Small Business Administration introduced the loans to help small and medium-sized companies.

PPP was established by Mr Trump's $2.2 trillion ($A3.16 trillion) coronavirus rescue package - the CARES Act - and the administration had been under pressure to expose exactly which firms benefited.

It is estimated the loans have helped save up to 51.1 million jobs through $521 billion-worth ($A749.96 billion) of taxpayer cash.

Other high-profile recipients included the law firm run by Trump's longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz, which received up to $10 million ($A14.39 million).

St. Andrew's Episcopal School attended by the President's son Barron also received a loan of up to $5 million ($A7.2 million), and Observer Holdings LLC - once headed by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner - also got a loan.

These firms were however among of thousands of other businesses that received cash in the scheme, which has been hailed by the administration as a "wild success".

The loans will be fully forgiven if businesses met the necessary criteria of the percentage being paid to employers, or they will have to be paid back with an interest rate of 1 per cent.




Kardashian's firm defended its use of the scheme, with neither Khloe or co-owner Emma Grede taking paychecks since the pandemic.

It said the government loan managed to save 57 jobs at Good American.

In a statement, the firm said: "Due to the dramatic global impacts of COVID-19, the Good American business took a significant hit.

"We have a large wholesale footprint and all of our partners were forced to close their stores, with many shutting down warehouses and cancelling orders.

"Applying for and receiving the PPP loan was a necessary step we had to take to ensure the long-term survival of our brand and business.

"We are incredibly grateful to have received the loan as it has allowed us to maintain our employees' salaries and support our team."


Kanye West blew up Twitter last weekend when he announced that he would be running for US president.

But how realistic an ambition is it?

"We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States," the idiosyncratic rapper tweeted.

The post by West - whose second album was titled Late Registration, garnered more than 200,000 likes within an hour.



But a 2020 run for president would be a virtually impossible mission for the Jesus is King artist due to rules about candidate registration.

And rules aside, is West even serious or is this a performance art or PR stunt?

West has missed every single state filing deadline for the two major parties and nearly all state primaries.

He's also missed at least six state filing deadlines to register as an independent candidate, including several with some of the most electoral college votes, like New York and Texas.

West has drawn some scorn from fans over the years for his unabashed support for Donald Trump and for proudly donning the infamous red baseball cap now synonymous with "Make American Great Again" and the MAGA element reviled by America's left.

Strangely, West made no mention of a White House run when he did an interview with GQ magazine back in May.




After previously mentioning he wasn't registered to vote, he assured the men's glossy that he would turn out for the 2020 election.

"I'm definitely voting this time. And we know who I'm voting on," West said at the time.

"And I'm not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over.

"Because guess what: I'm still here! Jesus Is King was No. 1!"

West implied he was pleased with Trump because of the state of real estate.

"I buy real estate. It's better now than when Obama was in office," West told GQ's editor-in-chief Will Welch.

"They don't teach you in school about buying property. They teach you how to become somebody's property."

West appears to have at least one vote secured.


Kanye West has announced he will run for president even though that means going up against his favourite politician, Donald Trump. Picture: AFP
Kanye West has announced he will run for president even though that means going up against his favourite politician, Donald Trump. Picture: AFP

"You have my full support!" his pal Elon Musk tweeted.

But will West really go up against his favourite politician, Donald Trump?

West long ago broke ranks with most of the left-leaning entertainment industry to loudly voice his support for Trump.

In 2018, they met in the Oval Office - a surreal tete-a-tete that included a hug from the rapper as well as an on-camera rant featuring an expletive not often repeated for the White House press corps.

That year, West also delivered a lengthy soliloquy to a president who many deem racist, telling him he loved him - to the dismay of many Democrats and fellow artists.

But in 2019, during an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music's Beats 1 show, he said his support for Trump had been a way to razz Democrats - and announced his own presidential ambitions.

"There will be a time when I will be the president of the US, and I will remember … any founder that didn't have the capacity to understand culturally what we were doing."

It was unclear to whom the artist was referring.





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West has taken a very public turn towards Christianity in recent years, and recently released a new song, "Wash Us In the Blood," along with an accompanying video including imagery from recent anti-racism protests.

Since 2018, his wife, reality star Kim Kardashian, has formed her own contacts with the White House as she champions criminal justice reform: she has successfully lobbied Trump to pardon a sexagenarian woman for a nonviolent drug offence.

For weeks now Trump, criticised for his response both to the coronavirus pandemic and to anti-racism protests, has been lagging in the polls behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

There was no immediate response to West's announcement from either candidate.





Originally published as 'I'm going to win': Inside Kanye's bizarre presidential bid