Conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee calls Trump a "master media manipulator" for setting up yesterday's meeting with Kanye West.
Donald Trump is constantly in the headlines, making controversial decisions each day, but the media was particularly frenzied yesterday over a seemingly innocuous meeting with Kanye West. The rapper's appearance at Trump Tower was one of the first times he had been spotted since being released from a nine-day stint in the hospital due to a mental breakdown he suffered last month. As Kanye tweeted out an autographed copy of Trump's "Person of the Year" issue of TIME magazine, many have thought that he met with the soon-to-be president to boost his own publicity. However, others are arguing that Trump was the main orchestrator of the meeting, which he may have planned in order to distract the media from his controversial selection for Secretary of State.
Indeed, his meeting with Kanye got far more coverage than yesterday's nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, a choice that he knew would enrage his critics and political opponents.
Former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee touched on Trump's strategic meeting with Kanye in an email to his supporters. Also yesterday, Trump met with retired NFL stars Ray Lewis and Jim Brown -- similarly as a distracting measure, according to Huckabee.
“Let’s face it, any pick Donald Trump makes for his Cabinet will set the liberal media hounds barking. But naming the CEO of Exxon as Secretary of State is like tossing a beef steak into a pound full of pit bulls," wrote Huckabee to his subscribers.
He went on to call Trump a "master media manipulator" for following up his controversial appointment of Tillerson with a series of celebrity meetings, most notably the one with Kanye:
“The left’s howls of outrage over Rex Tillerson would have been the biggest story of the day if Trump, a master media manipulator, hadn’t used their own tactics to outfox them. Knowing the media’s obsession with celebrity, he pushed the criticism of Tillerson out of the headlines by meeting with hip-hop star Kanye West and NFL legends Jim Brown and Ray Lewis.”
Despite making the meetings seem like a diversion tactic, Huckabee went on to praise Trump's inclusion of the three aforementioned black celebrities, which apparently signals his intent to "help struggling black communities":
“And they were obviously good meetings. Trump made it clear he means to keep his promise to help struggling black communities not with government handouts but by improving education and bringing jobs and economic opportunity to inner cities."
After yesterday's meeting, Kanye West tweeted that he and Trump had discussed "multicultural issues," school reform, and stopping violence in Chicago. "I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change," he also wrote.