On May 30, Kim Kardashian West headed to the White House to meet Jared Kushner to discuss prison reform. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Kim Kardashian West has taken it upon herself to solve the problem of America’s prison-industrial complex. Yep.
After watching a Mic video about a grandmother, Alice Marie Johnson, imprisoned for more than 20 years for a low-level drug offense, Kim tweeted, “This is so unfair…” Subsequently, she reached out to Ivanka Trump, who put Kim in touch with her husband, Jared Kushner. Apparently, Kardashian and Kushner have been in “back-channel talks” for months, whatever that means.
This is so unfair… https://t.co/W3lPINbQuy
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 26, 2017
This was the video:
Alice Marie Johnson has been in prison for 21 years for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. pic.twitter.com/VFe29D2ve8
— Mic (@mic) October 23, 2017
Vanity Fair explained, “Prison reform is an issue near and dear to Kushner, whose father, Charles, spent more than a year in a federal prison camp in 2005 and 2006 on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering. The experience left an indelible mark on the young Kushner who, for years, carried a wallet his father made for him in prison; when he joined the White House as senior adviser, he vowed to help improve the system that his father had come through.”
Recently, Kushner has been working on a prison reform plan that goes against the goals of some members of his father-in-law’s administration. It’s all a mess.
What Happened at the White House?
As Vanity Fair reported, “According to a person familiar with the meeting, Kardashian plans to ask Trump to pardon a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense.” On May 30, Kim tweeted about Alice, wishing her happy birthday and proclaiming “Today is for you.”
Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you 🙏🏼✨
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 30, 2018
And yes, Kim met with Trump himself. (Kushner is nowhere to be seen.) The New York Times reported, “Brittany K. Barnett, a member of Ms. Johnson’s legal team, said Ms. Kardashian West and her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, were scheduled to meet with a group of White House officials — including the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. Their goal was to raise the issue of clemency for Ms. Johnson. They ended up meeting with not just the initial group, but with the president, too.”
Trump tweeted a photo of him and Kim:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
And Kim didn’t tweet a photo with him, but tweeted to her 60 million followers:
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she —and so many like her—will get a second chance at life.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
What was the result?
Instead of pardoning Johnson (which may still come, TBD), President Trump announced this morning, May 31, that he is pardoning the racist, all-around terrible person who outed gay students at Dartmouth, and actual convicted criminal, Dinesh D’Souza. YIKES.
How do people feel about this?
Surprise surprise, Twitter has a lot of thoughts about Kardashian’s visit to the White House…
No shade to KKW, but there are actual key players in the criminal justice reform world that have yet to get their WH invitations. https://t.co/TwozrCmfbf
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 30, 2018
Well, but remember the time her sister went to jail but was released after 3 hours? And Kim took selfies the whole way to drop her off & Kris scolded her? And it happened on reality television? Who else WOULD Trump discuss prison reform with, really? https://t.co/6Flj18xfAz
— Caissie St.Onge (@Caissie) May 30, 2018
The fact Kim Kardashian would take her ass to talk about prison reform instead of deferring to people who have studied and fought for it for years/decades is why people don't like her family.
— Aaron Lee Dowell (@aaronleedowell) May 30, 2018
Today in criminal justice reform: Kim Kardashian is en route to the White House, expected to discuss with Trump his power to pardon incarcerated people. pic.twitter.com/mB08GHVBB1
— Melissa Gira Grant (@melissagira) May 30, 2018
IS KIM KARDASHIAN RELATED TO KIM JONG-UN? pic.twitter.com/47D8v4d6tw
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) May 30, 2018
I would bet everything I own that Kim Kardashian has never even finished a long form article on prison reform, never mind an actual book.
— KB (@KaraRBrown) May 30, 2018
I TOOK AMBIEN AND INVITED KIM KARDASHIAN TO COME OVER IS THAT COOL pic.twitter.com/DcglxNvai4
— The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper (@TheOpposition) May 30, 2018
This is the first time I've felt tired during this hellish administration. I know why Kim is there. I know the case she is advocating for. But if this…
The amount of dedicated organizers and activists who tirelessly work toward prison reform makes this photo mind numbing. https://t.co/k83QpkvVUc
— Kay Oyegun (@KayOyegun) May 31, 2018
Good work, @KimKardashian
You went to the White House to talk about prison reform and somehow convinced Trump to pardon Dinesh D'Souza, an ultra right wing racial nutcase.
— פסח 🔯 pesach (@pacelattin) May 31, 2018
“You are Melania now.” pic.twitter.com/5Mph6ghcH8
— Ira (@ira) May 30, 2018
2018: Proving once again that things can always get weirder.