Kim Kardashian West traveled to the White House on Wednesday, where the reality-TV star said she would meet with President Donald Trump to discuss clemency for a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
According to The Associated Press, it had been unclear whether the socialite would have the chance to sit down with Trump while she was in Washington, but Trump confirmed the meeting via Twitter, writing, “Great meeting with @KimKardashian today, talked about prison reform and sentencing.” He included a picture of the two in the Oval Office — Trump seated behind his desk and Kardashian West, dressed in all-black, standing to his right.
She arrived at the White House just after 4:30 p.m. for a meeting with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who oversees the administration’s push to overhaul the nation’s prison system. Kardashian West was seen posing for photos in front of the West Wing before entering.
The news website Mic.com, whose October report on prisoner Alice Marie Johnson had spurred the star’s involvement, said Kardashian West, 37, on Wednesday confirmed the planned meeting in Washington, adding, “I’ve been fighting very hard and am willing to do what it takes to fight for what’s right.” The White House has not commented on any meeting with the star.
“Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you,” Kardashian West tweeted Wednesday.
Johnson was convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine, attempted possession of cocaine and money laundering, according to the clemency advocacy group the Can-Do Foundation, one of numerous organizations that have taken up her cause. Given a life sentence on Oct. 31, 1996, she has served 21 years at the federal prison in Aliceville, Alabama. Her petition for clemency was denied by President Barack Obama in 2016, despite supportive letters from her warden and other prison officials.
The mother of five had worked in management, including for seven years at FedEx, but following a divorce, the loss of her job and her youngest son’s death in a motorcycle accident, “I made the biggest mistake of my life to make ends meet and got involved with people selling drugs,” she wrote in a CNN.com essay shortly after the clemency denial. “This was a road I never dreamed of venturing down. I became what is called a telephone mule, passing messages between the distributors and sellers. I participated in a drug conspiracy and I was wrong.”
Kardashian West told Mic.com earlier this month, “I’ve been in communication with the White House and trying to bring her case to the president’s desk and figure out how we can get her out.”