On Wednesday, Kim Kardashian West visited the White House to discuss criminal justice reform with President Donald Trump and personally lobby him for the release of Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother who was jailed for life without parole in 1997 for, she claims, acting as a go-between on a series of drug deals.
The lasting relic of that meeting, however, will be the staged Oval Office photo of a stone-faced Kardashian and a grinning Trump—the president seemingly satisfied that he’d conned both Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, into photo-ops under the guise of discussions on crime.
“The big question is: Did Kim Kardashian successfully convince Trump to use his pardon powers?” asked Trevor Noah on Thursday night’s Daily Show. “And the answer is: yes. Although, as with any Kardashian story, there’s a big but.”
If there was any doubt that Kardashian got badly played, Trump on Thursday decided to pardon not Johnson but Dinesh D’Souza, a far-right conspiracy theorist—and vocal Trump supporter—who pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud in 2012.
“OK, I’m not gonna lie, I did not see that coming,” said Noah. “After his meeting with Kim, President Trump decided to ignore her and instead pardon a right-wing troll who is known for saying things like ‘Obama is a gay Muslim,’ ‘Black people are thugs,’ ‘The Charlottesville rally was staged.’ So basically, Kim Kardashian said, ‘Can you pardon a black grandmother?’ and Trump said, ‘No, but I can pardon a brown Grand Wizard. Is that good enough?’”
He continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying being an asshole is a reason enough not to pardon someone, but what I am saying is that maybe Trump pardoned D’Souza because he is an asshole. Because Trump doesn’t care about sentencing reform or government overreach. All he cares about is doing favors for people he likes.”
Noah ended with some advice for Kardashian in her quest to free Alice Marie Johnson: “So Kim Kardashian: If you really want to get a pardon for your cocaine grandma, forget the meetings and just tell her to start sending out racist Obama tweets and she’ll be out in a week.”