Kim Kardashian DENIES that Trump used her as a ‘political pawn’ in the release of Alice Johnson, reveals Ivanka set up the meeting with the president and discusses her plans to become an activist
- Kim Kardashian West made a personal plea in the Oval Office for the president to commute the life sentence of Alice Johnson, 63
- On Wednesday, Trump agreed to commute the sentence of the first-time drug offender and Johnson was freed
- Kardashian has since hit back at suggestions she’d been used as a ‘political pawn’ by Trump, with her support lending him ‘legitimacy’
- ‘I think Kanye has already given him legitimacy,’ she said, referring to her husband’s vocal support for the president
- ‘At the end of the day, he heard me out. We got the job done. So what could he really use me for?’
- She believes Trump was moved by Johnson’s incredible prison record, which saw her ordained as a minister, and earn several degrees behind bars
- ‘He felt her heart,’ she said on CNN
Kim Kardashian West has dismissed any suggestions that she’d been used as a ‘political pawn’ by Donald Trump after he agreed to commute the sentence of a first-time drug offender serving life in jail.
The reality star, who has championed prison reform, made a personal plea in the Oval Office for the president to commute the life sentence of Alice Johnson, 63.
And on Wednesday, Kardashian thanked Trump and Jared Kushner for their ‘compassion’ after the grandmother was finally freed, tweeting it was the ‘BEST NEWS EVER!!!!’.
On Thursday, the mother-of-three brushed off claims that Trump had only granted Johnson’s release because her endorsement gave him ‘legitimacy.’
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Kim Kardashian West has dismissed any suggestions that she’d been used as a ‘political pawn’ by Donald Trump
‘At the end of the day, he heard me out. We got the job done. So what could he really use me for,’ she said during an interview on CNN
‘I think Kanye has already given him legitimacy,’ she said, referring to her husband’s many tweets and vocal support for the president, in an interview on CNN. ‘And I was working on this before, so I don’t think I would be used.
‘And at the end of the day, he heard me out. We got the job done. So what could he really use me for?’
She added that she believed Johnson’s incredible prison record, which saw her ordained as a minister, and earn several degrees behind bars, had moved the president.
‘He felt her heart,’ she said on CNN, adding that the moment she found out he was granting Johnson her freedom had been deeply emotional for her.
‘When he said he had the papers in front of him and he was signing it, my heart was so full,’ she added.
Reality star Kim Kardashian met with President Trump in the Oval Office in May to plead for a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother
She added that she believed Johnson’s incredible prison record, which saw her ordained as a minister, and earn several degrees behind bars, had moved the president
The 37-year-old Keeping Up with the Kardashians star explained that Ivanka Trump had helped set up the meeting with her father.
‘When I initially called Ivanka, I said I would love a meeting with your dad,’ she said. ‘I said that from the start and that took about six or seven months to get.
‘And so once we got the file really strong we were able to plan a meeting.’
That meeting just happened to fall on Johnson’s birthday.
‘I though OK that’s all aligned. The stars are all in our favor today,’ she said.
Kardashian admitted she felt a ‘star struck over the Oval Office’ during her meeting at the White House.
Then came the tense wait to see if she had done enough the persuade Trump.
Happy: Johnson was filmed running into the arms of her waiting family on Wednesday after spending 22 years behind bars when Trump granted her freedom
‘That week after the meeting, you’re just literally on pins and needles waiting to hear out what was going on,’ she said. ‘I had been in communication with Jared so I was feeling things were looking positive.
‘So yeah he called my cell phone,’ added Kardashian, who was on the phone to her husband Kanye when she got the call.
‘I said; “Wait babe I got to call you back.”
‘I knew it had to be some news.’
She said Trump told her he’d looked into the case and spoken to her prison wardens, and others involved with her case.
Trump told her that ‘Everyone had a unanimous… feeling of Alice that she will live a great life and that she has done her time and has been such a model person in prison.’
Kardashian said that her husband Kanye West (pictured) had already given the president legitimacy
Kanye has previously made his support for the president very clear
‘He felt her heart,’ she added.
The meeting between Trump and Kardashian took place last week and the White House shared a picture of the pair, Trump grinning from ear to ear, after the meeting that reporters were not allowed anywhere near.
Johnson’s attorneys had prepped Kardashian for the meeting with Trump where she begged for clemency for the for the great-grandmother.
After the meeting, Kardashian left the White House and headed for Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump’s Washington D.C. home. Exclusive photos taken by DailyMail.com show the reality star walking inside and laughing with the First Daughter and her husband.
An official White House statement later said that it was a ‘commutation’ and that it was being granted because ‘Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades.’
‘Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates,’ the White House statement said, noting that even her warden had ‘exhibited outstanding and exemplary work ethic.’
Kim Kardashian didn’t speak to the press when she left the West Wing of the White House on May 30
Kim Kardashian thanked President Trump for meeting with her
The White House said, ‘While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.’
Kardashian afterwards he’d had a call with Alice Johnson and that it ‘will forever be one of my best memories.’
‘Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget,’ Kardashian tweeted.
‘So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson,’ she tweeted. ‘Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.’
She said, ‘I hope to continue this important work by working together with organizations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.’
Kardashian posted a picture of Johnson with the caption: ‘BEST NEWS EVER!!!!’
Trump met with Kardashian last week to discuss Johnson’s case in the Oval Office
Johnson’s attorneys had prepped Kardashian for the meeting with Trump where she begged for clemency for the for the great-grandmother
The move to commute the sentence came after internal debate among his top advisers.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn are said to have been less-than-thrilled, however, with the president’s recent reprieve.
Both officials are said to have reviewed Johnson’s case, which involved drug possession and money laundering, and were not convinced she should be set free, The Washington Post reported.
The paperwork for a pardon for 63-year-old Alice Johnson was being finalized on Tuesday
Kelly did not respond to questions from DailyMail.com after news of the commutation broke during a chance encounter.
A source told The Post that Trump is ‘obsessed’ with his almost unchecked ability to issue pardons and could issue a dozen more before the end of the summer. CNN said the number he was considering was closer to 30.
An official affirmed the higher number to DailyMail.com.
Trump had already told reporters that he’s also considering pardons for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Martha Stewart.
The Post says that Trump is also thinking about pardoning two ranchers from Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond. They were convicted of arson charges in 2012 and sentenced to minimal time in prison, then re-sentenced to five years each at the behest of the government.
Johnson’s case had a powerful ally in not just Kardashian, but the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who set up the face-to-face with with the celebrity who’s married toKayne West.
Trump reportedly thanked Kardashian at the meeting for boosting his popularity with African-Americans, a group that has not strongly supported his presidency.
Two sources familiar with the conversation recounted it to Bloomberg News.
WHO IS ALICE JOHNSON AND WHY IS KIM KARDASHIAN INVOLVED?
Alice Marie Johnson, a mother-of-five, grandmother-of-six and great-grandmother of one, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of drug dealing in 1996.
It was her first conviction and some of her co-conspirators testified her against in exchange for plea deals.
The 63-year-old grew up in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and was married and pregnant by age 15.
In 1989, she and her husband divorced. Her life started to crumble as she struggled, as a single mother, to try and be financially stable for her five children, reports Mic. However, in 1990, because of a gambling addition, she was sacked by FedEx Corporation.
After filing for bankruptcy in 1991, Johnson lost her house. The next year, a scooter accident claimed the life of her youngest son, Cory.
It was while she was at rock bottom that Johnson became involved in a drug syndicate that imported cocaine into Memphis, Tennessee, where she acted as a go-between and passed on messages to drug dealers, relaying coded messages like ‘everything is straight’ by telephone.
While admitting to acting as a middle man for the drug traffickers, passing on the messages in code via telephone, Johnson claims she never directly sold drugs.
Inside time: Alice Johnson in federal prison
She was arrested along with 15 others in 1993 on charges including conspiracy to possess cocaine, attempted possession of cocaine and money laundering.
But ten of her alleged co-conspirators turned against her in exchange for reduced sentencing or dropped charges.
During the trial, evidence showed an operation with Texas-based Colombian drug dealers and their Memphis connections trading tons of cocaine for millions of dollars in cash.
At the time of Johnson’s February 1997 sentencing the amount of drugs and money involved meant that federal laws mandated a life sentence, despite the fact Johnson was a first-time, nonviolent offender.
US District Judge Julia Gibbons, who sentenced Johnson, called the then 42-year-old the ‘quintessential entrepreneur’ of the drug ring.
‘And clearly the impact of 2,000 to 3,000 kilograms of cocaine in this community is very significant,’ Gibbons said at the sentencing.
The quantity of cocaine – up to three tons – would now be worth about $85 million.
Johnson was 21 years into her life sentence at FCI Aliceville, in Aliceville, Alabama before it was commuted by President Donald Trump on May 6.
Her eldest daughter Tretessa Johnson, told Mic several years ago, ‘It’s like a waking death; it’s like the person is alive but they’re not. There’s never a point of closure, ever. It’s heartbreaking for me.’
Tretessa has organized an online petition, via change.org, calling for her to be released, explaining that her family’s life ‘changed forever’ when she was sentenced to life in federal prison.
She said her mother had explained that she became a telephone mule passing messages between her co-conspirators after losing her job at FedEx.
Mom: Alice Johnson is now a great-grandmother as well
Alice Johnson is quoted on Tretessa’s petition: ‘I couldn’t find a job fast enough to take care of my family. I felt like a failure.
‘I went to a complete panic and out of desperation I made one of the worst decisions in my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy’.
Tretessa said that her ‘mom’s desire upon release is to assist the community with the needs of ex-offenders to help reduce recidivism.
‘It serves no purpose or benefit to society to have her locked up for life. Her large and loving immediate and extended family and friends would welcome her return.’
During her time in prison, Johnson has displayed exemplary behavior, become an ordained minister, a published writer and a prison tutor, a biography from Can Do Clemency reports.
She had gained a large following of people pushing for her to be granted clemency. Part of this push saw her story turned into a short video, which went viral on social media.
Kim Kardashian saw the video and retweeted it to her millions of followers with the caption: ‘This is so unfair’ in October last year.
Since then, she has been working to help Johnson receive clemency from Trump.
The reality star had her personal lawyer begin working on Johnson’s case, and has spent months in conversation with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, on the topic.
Kushner – whose father Charles is himself a federal felon – is pushing a criminal justice reform agenda.
Last week, a grateful Johnson penned a moving letter to Kardashian, saying her efforts were ‘literally helping to save my life’.
‘I was drowning, and you have thrown me a life jacket and given me hope,’ she wrote.
In December of 2016, Kayne West actually met with President Trump
Kardashian, who appeared on Trump’s NBC show ‘The Apprentice’ in 2010, said she voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Last month, her husband, West, had praised Trump in a tweet that said: ‘You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy.’
He later revealed that his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat is signed by Trump himself, posting a picture of the accessory.
Trump retweeted the message and wrote, ‘Thank you Kanye, very cool!’
The president then praised West at a rally in Michigan.
‘Kanye West gets it — when he sees African American unemployment is the lowest in history, you know, people are watching,’ Trump told a crowd of supporters.
Trump credited the April tweet from West with raising his approval rating among African Americans during a speech to the National Rifle Association the first week in May.
Kim Kardasian and Ivanka arrived at the Trump/Kushner home after her White House meetings in May
Kim Kardashian leaving the Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner house
Kim Kardashian at the Trump/Kushner house with Ivanka and Jared
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