President Donald Trump has met with celebrity Kim Kardashian at the White House to discuss prison reform, alongside other White House officials including senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Following the meeting, Mr Trump tweeted a photo of himself with a stoic Kardashian in the Oval Office.
“Great meeting with [Kim Kardashian] today, talked about prison reform and sentencing,” Mr Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Kardashian left the White House in an SUV that was parked inside the White House grounds, which CNN notes is an unusual level of access and courtesy provided since most VIP guests have to walk through a gate before they are able to get to their vehicles.
“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 offence,” Kardashian wrote on Twitter after the visit.
Kardashian has spoken out about prison reform previously, and has been campaigning for the pardon of Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender who is serving life without parole for those crimes. Kardashian’s interest in the subject was sparked by a viral video posted by Mic, which described the difficult circumstances and case facing Johnson, a great-grandmother.
Alice Marie Johnson has been in prison for 21 years for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. pic.twitter.com/VFe29D2ve8
— Mic (@mic) October 23, 2017
The White House has said that one of Mr Kushner’s focus in the administration is to negotiate prison reform a priority, however it does not appear that sentencing reforms to keep non-violent drug offenders out of jail are on the table.
Pardoning Johnson would appear to run counter to Mr Trump’s approach to drug policy thus far in his presidency.
Since taking office, Mr Trump’s Justice Department has jettisoned policies of the previous administration that were seen as largely tolerant of marijuana in states that have voted to legalize the drug, and the president himself has suggested that drug dealers and traffickers should be executed.
“If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty,” Mr Trump said earlier this year, laying out the rationale for the death sentence for drug dealers or traffickers. “These [drug dealers] can kill 2000, 3,000 people, and nothing happens to them.”
Mr Kushner, who is also the president’s son-in-law, has pursued an agenda of criminal justice reform hat has focused on improving prison conditions, and encouraging more rehabilitation programs for inmates.