After the 40-year-old rapper called Trump his “brother” and said “the mob can’t make me not love him” in a series of tweets on Wednesday, the president chatted about West’s endorsement in a telephone interview Thursday morning with the hosts of Fox News’ Fox & Friends.
“I have known Kanye for a little bit, I get along with Kanye. I get along with a lot of people, frankly,” Trump said. “Kanye looks, and he sees black unemployment at the lowest it’s been in the history of our country, okay? He sees Hispanic unemployment at the lowest it’s been in the history of our country. He sees, by the way, female unemployment the lowest it’s been in now almost 19 years.”
The president continued, “He sees that stuff, and he’s smart. He says, ‘Trump is doing a much better job than the Democrats did.'”
On Friday, Trump elaborated on his warm feelings for the rapper in a Tweet.
“Kanye West has performed a great service to the Black Community,” the President wrote. “Big things are happening and eyes are being opened for the first time in Decades – Legacy Stuff! Thank you also to Chance and Dr. Darrell Scott, they really get it (lowest Black & Hispanic unemployment in history).
Trump previously responded to West’s message, replying on Twitter, “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”
“I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future. But artists can’t be blind to the truth,” he tweeted.
“The defining trait of Trump’s campaign and political profile was his embrace of white supremacy. He made it clear every time he spoke,” he added. “Some serious cognitive dissonance to ignore that for the other x% you might find appealing. I guess I agree with >1% of anyone’s thoughts though.”
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Chance the Rapper also shared that he had spoken to West “two days ago” and adding that “he’s in a great space.”
Trump said on Fox and Friends that he believes African Americans will be more open to calling themselves Republicans.
“Now they voted for me. Crime is way down and really importantly, the unemployment picture is the best it’s been in the history of our country for African Americans,” the president claimed.
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In addition to the responses to West’s tweets, many celebrities have reportedly unfollowed the star in the wake of Wednesday’s Twitter spree (he posted over 80 times). A representative from Twitter was unable to comment on the veracity due to privacy, but some of West’s in-laws — including Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian — are not presently following him on the platform as of this writing.
His wife Kim Kardashian West also addressed her husband’s tweets on Trump, writing, “When he spoke out about Trump… Most people (including myself) have very different feelings & opinions about this.”
“But this is HIS opinion,” she continued. “I believe in people being able to have their own opinions, even if really different from mine.”
“He never said he agrees with his politics,” she added.
Despite the backlash, West was photographed wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap as he exited his office in Calabasas, California, on Wednesday.
This week, multiple sources told PEOPLE that West had cut off contact with several people in his inner circle, including his managers, lawyers and closest friends. The rapper confirmed he stopped working with a manager on Wednesday morning, tweeting, “I no longer have a manager. I can’t be managed.”