- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

John Legend says he’s “disappointed” that Kanye West allowed himself to be used a publicity stunt by President-elect Donald Trump.

“I don’t think it’s impossible to talk to [Mr. Trump] about issues, but I won’t be used as a publicity stunt and I think Kanye was a publicity stunt,” Mr. Legend, born John Roger Stephens, said Wednesday during an interview with France’s Clique TV.

The singer’s comments come after Mr. West, who was recently hospitalized for a reported nervous breakdown, met with the president-elect Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York City. After the meeting, Mr. West tweeted that their conversation covered issues like “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago.” He later tweeted a photo of Mr. Trump’s “Person of the Year” issue of Time magazine, which included an autograph from the incoming president calling the rapper a “great friend.”

Mr. Legend, an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, said he’s “disappointed” in Mr. West for effectively endorsing Mr. Trump’s message.

“I’m pretty disappointed with Kanye, that he says he would have voted for Trump,” he said. “I think Trump has been corrosive. His message has been corrosive to the country, and I think the things he’s promised to do have been very concerning for a lot of people. And for Kanye to support that message is very disappointing.”

In an op-ed last week for Rolling Stone, Mr. Legend asked President Obama to grant “as many clemencies as possible” for non-violent drug offenders before he leaves office.

“Your administration took bold steps to end juvenile solitary confinement, reduce the use of federal private prisons and move to ‘ban the box’ for federal employees,” he wrote. “While we hope the Trump administration and the 115th Congress will maintain this progress and continue to work in a bipartisan manner to reform our criminal justice system, it is unclear what their priorities will be and when families can expect justice.”

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