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Why Donald Trump Hung Up on Kim Kardashian, New Book Claims

They were working together... until he took offense about two things.

During Donald Trump's presidency, Kim Kardashian met with him on multiple occasions in relation to her work in the field of criminal justice reform. While the the 43-year-old is most famous for her reality TV shows, social media presence, and businesses, she is also studying to become a lawyer and has been active in seeking clemency for imprisoned people. Kardashian collaborated with Trump on some of these cases when he was in office, and the former president did grant clemency for some of the prisoners she advocated for. But, according to a new book, Kardashian and Trump's relationship formerly cordial relationship soured due to two perceived slights on Trump's end. He reportedly hung up on the star mid-phone call.

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On Monday, Axios published an excerpt of Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party by Jonathan Karl (out Nov. 14). This is the third book the ABC News correspondent has written about the former president. Karl claims in the excerpt that Kardashian continued to ask Trump to commute the sentences of prisoners toward the end of his term and even requested his assistance after he was no longer president. But he became unwilling to cooperate for two reasons.

"A source familiar with the conversations tells me Trump listened to [Kardashian's] requests and demanded a straight-up quid pro quo. He would grant the commutations, he told Kardashian, if she leveraged her celebrity connections to get football stars who were friends of hers to come visit him at the White House," Karl writes.

According to the journalist, the reality star tried to do what Trump asked and saw it "as a small price to pay to get justice for people she believed were serving unjust sentences." But, all of the football players she asked declined to meet Trump. "In the final two weeks of his presidency, nobody wanted to be anywhere near him," Karl writes.

Kim Kardashian speaking at the White House alongside Donald Trump in 2019
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Additionally, Kardashian is said to have reached out to Trump in 2021, after his term ended. This time, she was reportedly hoping that he would endorse a clemency plea. He reportedly called her back quickly but only to say that he was no longer interested in helping her.

"Hell no, the former president told her," Karl writes. "He wouldn't do it. 'You voted for Biden and now you come asking me for a favor?' Trump told her … After a few more choice words, the line went dead. Trump had hung up on her."

As Karl notes, after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election, Kardashian posted a photo of the politicians on X (then Twitter) with three blue heart emoji. She also reposted Harris' famous "We did it, Joe" video and added red, white, and blue heart emoji.

The reality star has opened up about working with Trump on justice reform in interviews and on her show. Kardashian first met with the president regarding Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who was sentenced to life in prison for a first-time non-violent offense related to drug trafficking. In 2018, Trump commuted Johnson's sentence and she was released from prison. As reported by ABC News, the then-president went on to commute the sentences of other people Kardashian advocated for, and she and the women visited the White House in 2020.

On an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2019, Kardashian said (via The Washington Post), "I did consider the fact that I would get a lot of backlash if I went to the White House," but, she added, "meeting all of the people that I've met behind bars, I guarantee you, they don't care who signs that clemency paper."

Best Life has reached out to Kardashian and Trump for comment on Karl's new book.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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