Bari Weiss praises Kim Kardashian's dismissal of left-wing critics of work with Trump

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Journalist Bari Weiss expressed admiration for reality star and activist Kim Kardashian Thursday after she dismissed left-wing critics of her meeting with then-President Donald Trump on criminal justice reform issues.

On her podcast “Honestly,” Weiss pointed out to Kardashian that her work with the Trump White House angered liberal critics at the time. Kardashian was among the voices who pushed Trump to support the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill, and in 2018 she lobbied him specifically to commute the life sentence of Alice Johnson, who spent more than 20 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense.

“You were really credited for helping swing Trump’s support for the First Step Act. There were a lot of people on the left that gave you a lot of s—,” Weiss said.

FILE PHOTO: Television personality Kim Kardashian attends a panel for the documentary "Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project" during the Winter TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 18, 2020.
(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo)

“Yeah,” Kardashian said.

“Criticized you a lot for working with Trump, for normalizing him. What do you say to that?” Weiss asked.

“I really don’t care about the criticism,” Kardashian said. “I mean, my reputation over someone’s life? Destroy me then. I really don’t care. It was not even an option, and he did the right thing. I’m just about doing the right thing, and I’m really not about politics at all. It’s really about the people inside.”

She said she would work with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Trump, or anyone on issues she cared about.

“I give credit where credit’s due,” she said. “[Trump] did a lot for justice reform, and I stay focused on what I need to get done, and I think I’ve been really vocal about not making it about politics for me. It’s not really about being liked. What would that change? If I could change someone’s life, that’s what it’s about for me.”

“I admire that so deeply, and in a way, it feels like an answer from another time,” Weiss said.

Among the critics of Kardashian’s White House visit on behalf of Johnson in 2018 was CNN reporter Jim Acosta, then its White House correspondent who is now a staunchly left-wing opinion host on its weekend programming. Acosta complained Kardashian “shouldn’t be here” and mocked it as something that felt like it was happening on another planet.

Reality TV personality Kim Kardashian is invited to speak by U.S. President Donald Trump during an event celebrating the second chance hiring re-entry program for former inmates, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2019.
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

“Forget about the fact that Kim Kardashian is here at the White House today and what planet that is anything resembling normal, because it’s not,” Acosta said. “She shouldn’t be here talking about prison reform. It’s very nice that she is here, but that’s not a serious thing to have happened here at the White House.”

Weiss and Kardashian are progressive on a variety of issues, but their willingness to also buck left-wing orthodoxies in the media and entertainment realms have made them liberal media targets at times.

Gawker took a shot at the pair while writing about their interview, speculating about who their mutual friends were, noting a line where Kardashian mentioned the dinners they’d previously attended together.

Bari Weiss, a former New York Times opinion editor, famously quit the paper in a scathing resignation letter that claimed she was bullied by colleagues in an "illiberal environment." 

“Whoever it is, the two are evidently planning to dine together again. Best wishes to their friends,” Gawker snarked.

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