Kardashian, another reality star who has recently turned her attention to politics, met Trump in the Oval Office last week to try to persuade him to pardon Alice Johnson.
Johnson is a 63-year-old grandmother who was serving a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. After Kardashian’s intervention, Johnson was pardoned and released after 21 years in prison.
Kardashian told CNN that she was the one who broke the news to Johnson that she was to be freed. “I was like ‘you’re going home,’” Kardashian said Thursday, recalling her conversation with Johnson, saying they then cried on the phone to each other for three minutes straight.
Kardashian explained how she won over Trump to her cause. The reality star said she’d met Trump a few times before he was president so they greeted each other with a hug when she entered the Oval Office. “I did take a second to say, ‘wait a minute, we’re in the Oval Office, this is crazy,’” she said.
When they say down together, Trump asked Kardashian what she wanted to talk about and she replied with an ice-breaker about her sister failing to become his “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009.
She recalled: “I said, ‘What I really want to know, I’m here because I really want to know why did you kick Khloe off The Apprentice? It was a laugh and it was funny and then we got into business.”
Kardashian praised how the president dealt with her case during the meeting, saying that Trump “felt it.” She said: “He was compassionate. He was sympathetic to her. He said, you know, ‘this is a really long time that she’s been in here, this just isn’t fair.’ He knew that this is the right thing to do.”
The reality star told CNN she knew there would be “tons of backlash” for the meeting, but said that Johnson’s cause was “bigger than me.” Kardashian said she joined Johnson’s cause after seeing a story by chance about her case on her Twitter feed about seven months ago.
Asked about why she chose to meet the president when other entertainment and sports stars have boycotted events with him, Kardashian said: “I do still respect their choice. Everyone can do what they want to do. I never judge other people and I do think sometimes situations are different.”
She added: “I just am focussed and I could separate my feelings on certain policies. To me it wasn’t about policies, it was about I could change someone’s life. If I have the opportunity to do that, it just wasn’t even a question for me.”
Kardashian said Trump shared the news that he granted Johnson’s freedom in a phone call with her, saying that he’d personally investigated the case. He said that he’d spoken to several people, including Johnson’s prison warden, and everyone had “a unanimous feeling of Alice, that she will live a great life,” according to Kardashian.
“When he said he has the papers in front of him and he’s signing it... my heart was so full,” Kardashian said.
The reality star went on to hint that this is just the start of her involvement in politics, noting that there are many more people in Johnson’s situation. Despite her delight over Johnson’s release, she said: “It doesn’t mean we’re going to stop here.”