If Kanye West—who has recently come out as a sexual abuse apologist, faced widespread criticism for his pro-Trump antics by celebrities ranging from Alec Baldwin to Lana Del Rey, and inspired Pete Davidson to go on a rant on SNL—were still in school right now, it’s hard to imagine he’d be able to find a table that would welcome him in the cafeteria. As it turns out, though, even in real life, he’s still welcome at one lunch table: that of President Donald Trump.
In news first reported by The New York Times on Monday night, and confirmed on Tuesday morning by The Washington Post, via the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump has, in fact, agreed to spend a good deal of this Thursday with West—first for a meeting with him and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, followed by a private lunch.
Their meet-up at the White House comes after West’s week of parading around in a Make America Great Again hat and his delivery of an ultimately unaired pro-Trump speech at the end of his appearance on SNL. Of course, their relationship goes back at least to the rendezvous at Trump Tower in December 2016, which was reportedly at the behest of Trump himself, who later asserted that he’s been friends with West “for a long time,” and that they spent the meeting simply “discuss[ing] life.” West has since publicly returned Trump’s affection, tweeting that “we are both dragon energy” and “he is my brother,” while following through with his wife Kim Kardashian West’s request that he clarify that he doesn’t “agree with everything Trump does.” (In fact, he added: “I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself.”)
Meanwhile, Kardashian West met with Trump in the Oval Office this past May to discuss prison reform and make the case for the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, who at the time had been in jail for more than 20 years, serving a life sentence with no chance at parole for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. West, too, is set to attempt to get a little more specific with Trump than “discuss[ing] life.”
As for what’s on the table, according to Sanders, that will “include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago,” West’s hometown, which he recently announced plans to “permanently” move back to—and which is currently processing the aftermath of last week’s conviction of its police officer Jason Van Dyke for the second-degree murder of the black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, whom he infamously shot 16 shot times in 2014. Seeing as criminal-justice issues also concern the president’s senior adviser, the family reunion has been extended to include Kushner, whom Kardashian West recently praised for being “passionate” about changing sentencing laws, in the lead-up to her pardon-seeking for another convicted felon.
And as for what’s literally on the table for the lunch between Trump and West? Well, their bond might be in part due to the fact that they share an affinity for junk food—and, more specifically, McDonald’s, which West once wrote an entire rap about. According to Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted” made up the president’s go-to order at the fast-food chain, which Lewandowski described as one of the “four major food groups” on Trump’s campaign trail. (The remaining three, in case you’re wondering, were Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke.)