President Donald Trump and Kanye West have a unique friendship that’s baffled minds for years.
The bond between the Grammy-winning artist and president of our nation is one that they’ve never fully explained, but seemingly boils down years of mutual praise, an interest in politics and ties to Ivanka Trump and Taylor Swift. Yep, you read that right.
Their most recent public display of affection: an April 25 Twitter storm that involved Yeezy calling Trump his “brother” who shares his “dragon energy.”
Below, we dissect the head-scratching bromance that could potentially lead up to each dueling for rights to a “Keep America Great” slogan in the 2020 presidential campaign.
An early Ivanka connection: 2009 and beyond
Sift through endless scrolls of tweets and you’ll find early traces of what might be the beginning of a connection between Trump and West, sparked by Ivanka. The president’s daughter has tweeted about attending at least two West concerts, including one on Aug. 5, 2009. “At a Kanye concert!!!” she wrote — three exclamation points duly noted. Her contact with the rapper didn’t end there. A 2010 tweet implied she maintained open communication with Yeezy, writing, “I know! I just told Kanye that as well!” when told she should have gotten a mention on his “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” album.
Fast forward to 2013 and you’ll recall photographs of Ivanka chatting up Kim Kardashian and West at the Met Gala in New York City. She also joined her father, then the president-elect, during his buzzed-about 2016 meeting with West at Trump Tower.
Trump sides with Taylor at the VMAs: 2009
Refer back to a TMZ article for an early spotting of Trump’s opinions on West. After the infamous Taylor Swift/Kanye West Video Music Awards mic-grabbing moment, Trump reportedly told the publication he felt West’s “disgusting” actions were a ploy “to get attention.” Perhaps they weren’t good buds just yet.
Kardashian and West get well wishes: 2014
Promoting the 14th season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Trump chatted with Mario Lopez for an Extra TV interview and dished on Bruce Jenner, Stephen Colbert and, you guessed it, Kanye West. Trump detailed an apparent friendship with the rapper when he was asked for his take on his recent marriage to Kim Kardashian.
“I certainly wish them the best of luck,” he told Lopez. “I know them well and they’re both very nice people.”
Trump praises West’s 2020 run: 2015
In a memorable, yet lengthy, speech at the 2015 Video Music Awards, West announced to the world his intention of running for president in 2020. The claim led reporters to question Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, on his feelings on the rapper.
“There are comparisons made so often, which is interesting, comparisons with Kanye and myself. I don’t quite get it,” Trump told Rolling Stone in September 2015. “He’s said very nice things about me in the past, and he knows my daughter a little bit, Ivanka. He said very good things about me. Extremely positive things.”
‘Kanye West loves Trump!’: 2015
That same month, Trump continued to praise West at a campaign rally and news conference aired on MSNBC. Well, sort of.
“I’ll never say bad about him. You know why? Cause he loves Trump!” he said. “He goes around saying, ‘Trump is my all-time hero. So, Kanye West, I love him. Maybe in a few years I’ll have to run against him so I don’t know, I’ll take that back. But, you know what, he’s been so nice to me.”
West confirms support for Trump: 2016
The rapper has admitted he didn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 election, but that’s because he didn’t vote at all. At a California concert during his Saint Pablo tour in November 2016, West stopped the show to tell his fans, “If I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump.” He was met with boos.
West meets the president-elect at Trump Tower: 2016
West’s meeting at the then-president elect’s Trump Tower home in December 2016 caused major buzz among fans who at first wondered if the rapper was being tapped to perform at the inauguration.
West didn’t end up performing, and the pair instead used it as an opportunity to solidify media speculation about their friendship.
“He’s a good man. We’ve been friends for a long time,” Trump told media outlets in front of the Trump Tower elevators. West kept quiet and only revealed that they discussed “life.”
West puts Trump in his video: 2016
Trump popped up in West’s June 2016 “Famous” video, which caused unsurprising controversy on social media. With artistic license, West placed synthetic replicas of what appeared to be the nude bodies of Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Caitlyn Jenner, Anna Wintour, Amber Rose, and Trump, among others.
West’s Twitter storm: 2018
In case several years of trading praise through media outlets didn’t get the message across, West took to Twitter on April 25 to spell out just how fond of the president he truly is.
“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him,” West tweeted. “We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does.” That tweet in particular, which was merely one of dozens, drew the attention of Trump who called his rant “very cool” and Ivanka who replied, “#truth.”
Trump on ‘Fox and Friends’: 2018
Dishing on a variety of topics from Anderson Cooper to James Comey, Trump praised West during a lengthy phone appearance on “Fox & Friends” on April 26. “He’s got good taste,” he said, when asked about the rapper’s Twitter rant.