The controversial rapper will have to defeat friend Donald Trump.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” West wrote on Twitter Saturday evening. “I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION”
It’s not apparent how serious he is about running, but it seems unlikely the polarizing entertainer could actually unseat Trump. It’s probably more likely he could use a little publicity for his upcoming album, “God’s Country,” and its first single, “Wash Us in the Blood,” which was released earlier this week.
But Trump himself was a reality TV star and former President Ronald Reagan of course made his name as a Hollywood actor before entering politics.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Trump both have a few hundred million dollar fundraising advantage on the 21-time Grammy winner. Though his wife, Kim Kardashian, is very nearly a billionaire after selling 20% of her KKW Beauty last month if he’s looking to borrow a few hundred million.
If West does actually want to run for president, he would have to do so as an independent. And even that would take him acquiring the necessary signatures to get on November’s ballot. Bad news for voters in Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Texas — the deadline has already passed to file and you won’t get a chance to vote for West. (Unless you want to write him in.)
West, 43, made a surreal appearance in the Oval Office in October 2018, meeting with Trump after professing his love for the current president. The move ostracized the Chicago rapper from many of his peers in the entertainment industry. In the end it turned out West hadn’t even voted in the 2016 election.
Donning a “Make America Great Again” hat, the two were set to talk about the president’s appeal to African Americans. But in reality the conversation swung from his IQ — he’s in the 98th percentile, he said — to his mental health to Ford needing to design the “fliest most amazing” cars and his comments on live TV during a Hurricane Katrina charity fundraiser that George W. Bush didn’t care about Black people. All the while, he tested television producers’ censor buttons.
The two actually did discuss West running for president, believe it or not.
Trump said the rapper “could very well be” a future presidential candidate.
“Only after …” West responded, referring to after Trump left office.
“That’s good, I’m glad to hear that,” Trump said.
Apparently, he’s moved up the date.
He seemed to imply in the May issue of GQ that he was going to vote for Trump this year.
“We know who I’m voting on,” West told the magazine. “And I’m not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over. Because guess what: I’m still here!”
Trump has also made acquaintances with West’s wife. Kardashian has visited the White House multiple times and met with Trump to push criminal reform policy. She first met with the president in 2018 when she secured the commutation of a Tennessee woman’s life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense.
Kardashian visited the White House most recently in March along with three other women who had their sentences commuted by the president.
For what it’s worth, Kardashian tweeted an American flag emoji in response to her husband’s declaration.
One tweet before he made his proclamation, West shared a July 1 photo with maybe the only celebrity figure more polarizing than himself: Elon Musk.
Musk immediately responded to West’s presidential announcement, writing, “You have my full support.”
ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.