John Legend wants you to have your eyes wide open this election season. The singer posted a pair of tweets on Thursday morning (Aug. 6) in which he sought to provide some clarity on what he said was a seeming attempt to pull one over on the American people.
“Just in case anyone needs some clarity around what’s happening here,” Legend tweeted, linking to a Vice magazine article that claimed Kanye West has submitted the required signatures to appear on the ballot in the crucial swing state of Wisconsin as part of his chaotic presidential bid thanks to some help from the Republican Party. Legend did not name West in his tweets.
According to the magazine, the signatures were delivered on Tuesday by Lane Ruhland, an “experienced GOP operative with ties to Pres. Trump’s campaign,” who is a former legal counsel for the state’s Republican Party. Ruhland is also representing the Trump campaign in a lawsuit against a Democratic super-Pac seeking to pull an anti-Trump ad off the air in the state crucial to the president’s foundering re-election campaign.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the effort to get West on the ballot as a third-party candidate in several states has the hallmarks of an “operation run by President Trump’s allies and Republican activists that is aimed at diverting votes from [presumptive Democratic nominee] Joseph R. Biden.” The Times reported that several other people active in the GOP have ties to West’s run, including an executive at Let the Voters Decide, who has reportedly been collecting signatures for the West campaign in Ohio, West Virginia and Arkansas.
Other reports have tied GOP operatives to efforts to get West on the ballot in Colorado and Arkansas. And while West has missed the deadline to get on the ballot in dozens of states so far, the Times said he could serve as a spoiler in battleground states such as Wisconsin and Ohio, though in a statement in the White House briefing room on Wednesday Trump tried to distance himself from the effort.
“Kim Kardashian, she’s got a good heart, a very good heart, and I like Kanye very much,” Trump said, “but I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot.” Legend, who has spoken out about his friend West’s presidential run several times, followed up a short time later with a second tweet dismissing anyone who doesn’t do enough homework to realize what is really going on.
“Anyway…. Anyone reckless and/or misinformed enough to fall for the okey doke probably wasn’t voting for Biden (or voting at all),” Legend wrote.
West, who had been a vocal supporter of Trump, claimed in a recent Forbes interview that he no longer backed the embattled president. A short time later, the rapper broke down in tears at his first presidential campaign rally in South Carolina during a shocking, rambling speech in which he claimed he and Kardashian considered aborting their first child, North; he later tweeted a public apology to his Kardashian for airing their private business in public.
Kardashian later came to her husband’s defense, opening up about his struggle with bi-polar disorder. “He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder,” she wrote, noting that this is the first time she has addressed how his bipolar disorder impacts their family life. “Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”
See Legend’s tweets below.