John Legend says his friendship with Kanye couldn't survive politics, Trump
(The Hill) — John Legend says his relationship with Ye, formally known as Kanye West, was doomed by the rapper’s embrace of former President Donald Trump and 2020 White House bid.
Legend, speaking on an episode of CNN’s “The Axe Files” podcast with David Axelrod released Thursday, said the pair weren’t “friends as much as we used to be” because “we publicly disagreed on his running for office and supporting Trump.”
West was a vocal backer of Trump while the former president was in office, including visiting him in the Oval Office. In 2020, West launched his own long-shot presidential campaign, running under the Birthday Party.
A fierce Trump critic, Legend said, “I think it became too much for us to sustain our friendship, honestly.”
“He was upset that I didn’t support his run for presidency of the United States of America — for understandable reasons,” Legend said.
Weighing in on a topic that has stayed in the spotlight since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Legend also said that the government needs to stay far away from abortion.
“I think the government should completely be out of the abortion conversation,” the “All of Me” singer said.
“I don’t care about six months, three months, eight months. It should be between the person who’s pregnant and their doctor and their family, if they want them to be involved,” added Legend, a criminal justice reform advocate who performed at President Joe Biden’s inaugural concert last year.
Legend was asked about his reaction to the end of Roe, the 1973 decision that protected a federal right to abortion, given his family’s own experience with pregnancy loss.
In 2020, Legend’s wife, author and model Chrissy Teigen, shared that she had suffered a miscarriage following pregnancy complications.
“Anyone who’s dealt with pregnancy knows none of this is casual. None of this is frivolous. And it’s so intimate and it’s so personal,” Legend, 43, said.
“How do we want our governors and our legislators — most of whom are men — in this room with the doctor, and with this person who’s dealing with their pregnancy? Why do we want our government involved in those decisions?” the EGOT winner exclaimed.
“Having gone through that situation with my wife, essentially, anyone who had a miscarriage would have to be investigated,” Legend said of states that have no exceptions to abortion bans.
Teigen announced this week that she’s pregnant again, saying the couple has “another on the way.”
“If you decide they weren’t allowed to have an abortion, then anyone who had a miscarriage — after all that trauma, after all that pain, after all those tears we went through — to then have the local [district attorney] or local law enforcement do an investigation and make sure the miscarriage was approved by the state, and not just a regular run of the mill abortion,” Legend told Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama.
“To have the government decide whether or not the life of the mother was sufficiently in danger for them to make this intimate decision that they make between themselves and their doctor, to have the government involved in that conversation in any way is so offensive to me.”
“It’s nasty, it’s evil,” Legend said. “It should not be even a discussion. The government should not be involved.”
He also put the kibosh on any future leap into politics.
“I do not want to run for office. I definitely don’t want to do it now. I don’t envision myself wanting to do it in the future,” he said.
While he did have presidential aspirations as a child, Legend said, “I love my day job, but I also love the work we do politically and philanthropically. And I feel like I’m able to make a big impact through the work that I’m doing, and I like the way that I’m doing it now.”
“Part of it maybe is just my own selfishness and vanity. I like the fact that half the country isn’t rooting for my failure every day right now,” Legend continued.
“And I don’t look forward to the idea of half of my country rooting for me to fail and looking to destroy me,” he said.
“I respect anyone who’s willing to put themselves and their family through that, but I just don’t want to do it.”