When asked what he discussed Tuesday with rapper Kanye West, President-elect Donald Trump simply said, "Life."
But Trump ally and former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee had another theory for the unlikely pair's meeting: to draw attention away from Trump's secretary of state pick.
"Let’s face it, any pick Donald Trump makes for his Cabinet will set the liberal media hounds barking," Huckabee said in a fundraising email Wednesday for Huck PAC.
Trump announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state earlier that day — a move that Huckabee compared to "tossing a beef steak into a pound of pit bulls."
"The left's howls of outrage over Rex Tillerson would have been the biggest story of the day if Trump, a master media manipulator, hadn't used their own tactics to outfox them," Huckabee said in the email. "Knowing the media's obsession with celebrity, he pushed the criticism of Tillerson out of the headlines by meeting with hip-hop star Kanye West and NFL legends Jim Brown and Ray Lewis."
Huckabee added that Trump's meetings with the famous men are also indicative of the president-elect's intent to "keep his promise to help struggling black communities not with government handouts but by improving education and bringing jobs and economic opportunity to inner cities."
🙌 Huckabee praises Trump for what he says is masterful media manipulation in using Kanye West as a Rex Tillerson sm… https://t.co/1wdtKbZelp— Dave Levinthal (@Dave Levinthal) 1481732808.0
These three men can expect to get a lot of hate on the internet from people who've never actually met or spoken with Trump, but who've only heard from his political enemies that he's a hateful racist. I suspect that false image is already starting to fade because Trump seems determined to keep his promises to the African-American community. He really intends to show residents of cities that have been run into the ground by decades of Democratic rule that there is a better way, and that despite Hillary's $1.2 billion smear campaign, he was really elected because he promotes economic opportunity, not racism.
Brown, the Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns running back, said that he "fell in love" with Trump after meeting the Republican business mogul.
"I don't know everything, and I don't try to address everything, but the reception that I got today from him I will always remember that because he listened to us and he knows that we can bring something to him to help the people of this country," Brown said.
Lewis told reporters following the meeting that the focus should be on job creation and economic development in urban areas.