Kim Kardashian Explains the Upside of Kanye West’s Friendship with Donald Trump
Even though Kim Kardashian West finds her husband Kanye West's political activity "exhausting" at times, she's still trying to embrace its silver lining
The 38-year-old mom of three told The Alec Baldwin Show and Richardson magazine that she’s okay with letting the famously eccentric rapper, 41, do his thing — which as of late has included a bizarre meeting with President Trump at the White House, ranting while wearing a MAGA hat on Saturday Night Live, and claiming that “slavery is a choice.”
Kardashian West said in an interview with Baldwin, 60, on Sunday night that “I let [Kanye] be who he wants to be… I let him have his own views and opinions, even if they’re different from mine.”
She then revealed that her willingness to embrace differences of opinion comes from growing up with Caitlyn Jenner, who’s a staunch conservative. (Jenner has dialed back her support of Donald Trump, however, due to his stance on LGBTQ issues.)
“We would just always talk about it and be open about it,” Kardashian West recalled of her childhood. “It was always okay to have different views. I think it’s just having an open mind.”
And her current dynamic with her husband is similar. “[We] definitely have conversations if I don’t understand something in private and talk about that,” she said.
The reality star also told Richardson and Baldwin that one of the reasons she’s willing to be supportive of West’s controversial viewpoints is that there are distinct benefits for her own political activism. She’s recently become involved in criminal justice reform, and notably helped commute the life sentence of 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who spent 21 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense.
“I am aware that Kanye speaking out in favor of Trump got me through the door — got him to pick up my call,” Kardashian said in the magazine’s 20th anniversary issue published Friday. “I’ve always had different opinions than Kanye. But when I went there, and when I saw what could be done, I realized that I could get more done if I just stayed focused on the issue I was passionate about instead of complaining.”
Although she didn’t specifically reference Johnson to the publication, she clarified to Baldwin that “Alice always says if it wasn’t for Kanye wasn’t speaking up in support of Trump, then she would still be in jail. She says it all the time.”
Kardashian West also revealed that the Paris robbery inspired her to rethink crime. “I knew I was being very careful and very cautious in identifying my situation, but I felt like so many people, they want to get the job done,” she explained. “They just pick anyone.”
Numerous sources have told PEOPLE in the past that West’s behavior takes a toll on his wife. But the beauty mogul doesn’t shy away from making her feelings known to her husband.
“She lets him take the lead, and she never disagrees with him publicly,” one source said. “She has decided that’s the right move, but she isn’t scared to share her disagreements with him behind closed doors… Don’t think that she’s afraid of him, because she’s not. She’s just managing him the best she can.”
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Part of that management includes keeping an eye on the music producer’s mental health, a source told PEOPLE earlier this month. “Kim is very uncomfortable and unhappy with the whole situation,” the insider added.
“She finds Kanye brilliant, so it makes her upset when he goes on these public rants and come across as someone who isn’t well. It’s stressful for her. She knows he isn’t healthy right now, but it’s impossible to get across to him… All she can do is hope that he calms down mentally soon… Kim’s family thinks he needs help, but Kanye doesn’t, so it won’t happen.”