ABC host Jimmy Kimmel grilled musician Kanye West over his support for President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE on Thursday night after West urged trying "love" instead of hate for the president.

West — who stirred controversy earlier his year when he praised Trump for his “dragon energy,” called him his “brother” and shared a photo of himself wearing a Make America Great Again hat — said he had previously been afraid to endorse Trump.

“Just as a musician, African-American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things, you know, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me,” he said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

“And then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over. I’d get kicked out of the black community because blacks, we’re supposed to have a monolithic thought, we can only like, we can only be Democrats and all,” he continued.


“It took me a year and a half to have the confidence to stand up and put on the hat, no matter what the consequences were," West said. "And what it represented to me is not about policies, because I’m not a politician like that, but it represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt, no matter what anyone said, in saying, 'You can’t bully me.' Liberals can’t bully me, news can’t bully me, the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me.”

Trump thanked West for his support earlier this year for similar reasons, saying he’d “performed a great service to the Black Community.”

Kimmel, who has openly criticized Trump on his show, pushed West on his views, asking if he thought Trump was a “good president” or was ever “concerned” when Trump was “alone in the Oval Office” with West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, discussing the life sentence of Alice Johnson earlier this year.

Responding to the latter, West laughed and said, “Well, he is a player.”

“When I see people even just like go at the president, it’s like why not try love?” he added. “For one person to stand up against all odds and just hug somebody the way that Alice Johnson hugged her family when she got out of jail, that one by one we can diffuse this nuclear bomb of hate we're in as a society.”

Kimmel pushed back in his response.

“I think that’s a beautiful thought, but just in literal terms, there are families being torn apart at the border of this country," Kimmel said, referring to Trump’s "zero tolerance" immigration policy. "There are literally families being torn apart as a result of what this president is doing, and I think that we cannot forget that whether we like his personality or not, his actions are really what matter.”

Kimmel then referred to critical comments West made about then-President George W. Bush in 2005 following the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans.

“You so famously and so powerfully said, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’” Kimmel said. “It makes me wonder what makes you think that Donald Trump does or any people at all?”

West appeared to be contemplating the question as the show went to commercial break.