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Kim Kardashian feeling 'optimistic' after meeting with Donald Trump

2018-05-31 06:57
 
Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian

Washington — Reality TV star Kim Kardashian paid a visit to the White House on Wednesday to make a star-powered case to President Donald Trump and his staff on behalf of a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses.

Kim has been urging the president to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, 63, who has spent more than two decades behind bars and is not eligible for parole.

READ MORE HERE: Kim Kardashian to meet with Donald Trump

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 — as he often does — 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 Kim, dressed in all-black, standing to his right.

Kim arrived at the White House just after 16:30 for what was expected to be a meeting with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, who is overseeing the administration's push to overhaul the nation's prison system. She appeared to preview the visit on her Twitter feed, writing: "Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you."

A rare A-list celebrity to visit the White House since Trump took office, Kim was seen posing for photos in front of the West Wing before entering.

Attorney Brittany K. Barnett, a member of Johnson's legal team, said Kim had hoped to discuss the issue with Trump directly. She said after the meeting that she had consulted with those who had attended and said it "seemed to go well."

"It is now in President Trump's hands to decide whether to save Alice Johnson's life," Barnett said.

Following the meeting, Kim thanked Trump for his time, adding that she hopes he "will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson." The 37-year-old concluded that she is optimistic at the outcome and hopes Alice and many others in her situation "will get a second chance at life."

In an interview with Mic released earlier this month, Kardashian West said she'd been moved by Johnson's story after seeing a video by the news outlet on Twitter.

"I think that she really deserves a second chance at life," Kardashian told Mic. "I'll do whatever it takes to get her out."

Kardashian West said in the interview she'd been in touch with Kushner over the case and that, if she had the chance to bring it up with Trump, she'd tell him, "I really do believe that she's going to really thrive outside of prison, and I would just urge him to please pardon her."

WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE:

(Click here to watch the interview on Facebook)

A HANDFUL OF PARDONS

Trump last week granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many saw as a racially charged conviction.

The boxer's pardon had been championed by actor Sylvester Stallone, who Trump said had brought the story to his attention in a phone call.

Trump has issued just a handful of pardons, including one for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a staunch campaign supporter; one for Scooter Libby, who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney; and one for a U.S. Navy sailor convicted of taking photos of classified portions of a submarine.

Kim supported Trump's rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 election. But her husband, rapper Kanye West, recently offered his support for Trump in a series of tweets, saying they both share "dragon energy." Kim defended her husband when he caught flak on social media for his tweets.

Kanye also paid a visit to the then-president-elect in New York before his inauguration. Trump said they talked about "life" as they posed for photos in the lobby of Trump Tower. West has said he didn't vote in the presidential election, but if he had, he would have cast a ballot for Trump.

READ MORE HERE: Kanye West met Donald Trump and the internet can't handle it

Trump and members of his administration have spoken passionately in favour of prison and sentencing reform, but that has sometimes clashed with Trump's law-and-order approach, especially at the Justice Department.

Indeed, Trump has called for getting tougher on drug dealers, including suggesting that some should receive the death penalty.

Alice was convicted in 1996 on eight criminal counts related to a Memphis-based cocaine trafficking operation involving more than a dozen people. The 1994 indictment describes dozens of deliveries and drug transactions, many involving Johnson.

She was sentenced to life in prison in 1997, and appellate judges and the US Supreme Court have rejected her appeals. Court records show she has a motion pending for a reduction in her sentence, but federal prosecutors are opposed, saying in a court filing that the sentence is in accord with federal guidelines, based on the large quantity of drugs involved. The US Attorney's Office in Memphis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

A criminal justice advocacy site, CAN-DO, and one of Alice's attorneys say a request for clemency was rejected by former President Barack Obama. The reasons are unclear.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  kim kardashian  |  celebrities

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