On Wednesday, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chief of Staff John Kelly sat down with New York’s Olivia Nuzzi to do a very normal thing: explain, over and over again, that the White House is not a circus. “We have a very smooth-running organization even though it’s never reported that way. So the real story is that. It’s really the real story. When you walk in here, you don’t see chaos,” Trump said. “There is no chaos. The media likes to portray chaos. There’s no chaos.” Kelly concurred, telling Nuzzi, “There is, to the best of my knowledge, no chaos in this building.”
If that wasn’t convincing enough, then Trump invited Kanye West for a rambling, almost entirely incoherent public sit down in the Oval Office on Thursday. During the visit, West delivered a 10-minute speech about mental health, education, and the fact that the 13th Amendment (which abolished slavery) is a “trap door.”
“If you’re building a floor—the Constitution is the base of our industry, of our country, of our company, right?” Kanye explained. “Would you build a trap door that if you mess up, and you accidentally—something happens, you fall and you end up next to the Unabomber? You gotta remove all that trap door out of the relationship. The four gentleman that wrote the 13th Amendment—and I think the way the universe works, it’s perfect! We don’t have 13 floors.”
At other points in the interview, he referenced Joseph Campbell (presumably by way of Jordan Peterson) and claimed that Trump was on “his hero’s journey.” He said that he hoped that Trump and Colin Kaepernick would attend the Super Bowl wearing “Make America Great” hats designed by Kanye. And he talked extensively about the need for all people to live in the present and forget about pesky historical problems like slavery. “Time is a myth,” he said. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown was also at the meeting.
Trump, for his part, mostly seemed confused by what West was saying. But he did seem to immediately grasp that it was good for ratings. Despite the fact that there are two pressing crises before him—Hurricane Michael, which devastated the Florida panhandle, and Saudi Arabia, which allegedly murdered a U.S.-based journalist—he was adamant that his meeting with Kanye was the most important thing he could be doing.
“What Kanye is doing has been incredible,” he said. “All over the world, they’re talking about this. I’ve had important meetings today with senators, other people... nobody cared! They wanted this meeting. The others were good. But this is what they want”