Apr 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Harris to host Kim Kardashian at White House to highlight Biden pardons

Kim Kardashian speaks at a White House event with an American flag in the background.

Kim Kardashian speaks during an East Room event on "second chance hiring" June 13, 2019, at the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Reality television star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian will join Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Thursday for a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform, a White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: In an election year, Kardashian's star power will help highlight the dozens of people to whom President Biden has granted clemency for non-violent drug offenses similar to her outspoken support for some of former President Trump's reforms.

Driving the news: Harris' roundtable Thursday afternoon will include four of the 16 people who received clemency from Biden earlier this week.

  • All 16 had been convicted of non-violent drug offenses, per a White House official.
  • Harris will also announce the finalization of a rule to remove loan eligibility restrictions that people with a criminal record face, according to the official.
  • It's the latest in a series of executive actions the Biden administration has taken on the issue, including pardoning thousands convicted of simple marijuana possession.

Between the lines: Kardashian has never said who she voted for in the 2020 race, but Trump soured on her in the aftermath of the election.

  • In late 2023, in response to reporting in Jonathan Karl's book, "Tired of Winning," Trump posted on Truth Social that Kardashian was the "World's most overrated celebrity."
  • Trump also said he "did help with prisoner commutation, but only if deserving, and much more so for [ex-husband] Kanye West than for Kim, who probably voted for Crooked Joe Biden."

Earlier this week on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kardashian acknowledged that the relationship had become strained.

  • "Listen, I don't think he likes me very much. But I'm okay. I think he did amazing stuff with prison reform," she said.
  • Kardashian had pushed Trump's embrace of the First Step Act.

Flashback: In his book, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner wrote that Kardashian was key to Trump commuting the sentence of and pardoning Alice Johnson.

  • Johnson, a Black woman who had received a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense, would ultimately become a prominent surrogate for Trump's 2020 campaign — a role that included delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention.
  • "[Kardashian] gracefully presented Alice's case to the president," Kushner wrote. "She knew the details backward and forward."
  • Two days later, Trump called Kushner and said he had decided to pardon her. Kushner quotes Trump saying: "Let's do the pardon. Let's hope Alice doesn't go out and kill anyone!"

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