White House reporters spotted Kardashian entering and exiting the West Wing on Wednesday afternoon, after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the visit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Kardashian has been advocating for the commutation of the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who is in prison for a low-level drug offense. “Today is for you,” Kardashian tweeted on Wednesday, which is Johnson’s birthday.
Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson. Today is for you 🙏🏼✨
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 30, 2018
Kardashian also reportedly met with Jared Kushner, senior adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, who has made criminal justice reform one of his policy goals. Kushner has advocated for prison reform and the First Step Act, legislation to help inmates re-enter society. It is currently pending before Congress.
She later wrote about the meeting, “I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.”
“We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she —and so many like her—will get a second chance at life.”
I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 31, 2018
Her visit drew some mixed reactions from groups that have been involved in the issue.
Jessica Jackson Sloan, national director of #cut50, an advocacy group calling for a reduction of the prison population, said in a statement, “We commend Ms. Kardashian-West for putting people over politics today. Ms. Alice Johnson’s case demonstrates just how broken our federal criminal justice system is. And just like hundreds of people who have come to know Ms. Alice Johnson or the injustice of her case, Kim is calling on President Trump to exercise his clemency power to right this wrong.”
Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was critical of Trump’s decision to meet with Kardashian.
“President Trump’s reported meeting with Kim Kardashian West to discuss prison reform makes light of one of the biggest crises that we face in our country today,” she said in a statement issued earlier on Wednesday. “Prison reform is a complex issue that requires expertise and knowledge of where some of the greatest racial disparities lie. I am not aware that Ms. Kardashian West brings the requisite record of experience to tackle these issues on a national scale. In short, this proposed meeting is outrageous and makes clear that this administration does not deem prison reform a real priority.”