Kanye West appeared on TODAY Thursday in a prerecorded interview in which he responded to President George W. Bush’s reaction to the rapper's allegation that Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina indicated that Bush “didn’t care about black people.” In his book “Decision Points,” Bush called that moment “one of the most disgusting moments” of his presidency.
“As far as it being the worst moment of his presidency, you know, I can't ... really speak to that ... his take, his explanation, I completely agree with. And I -- I empathize. It's totally -- and I felt like that the entire time,” West told Matt Lauer in the interview. Continuing, West said that he knew it wasn’t right to call Bush a racist. “And you sit there and you know -- you know in your heart as a person that to -- an emotion -- you know, in a moment of emotion to peg someone or to call a name or peg someone as a racist is not -- it’s -- it’s just not right.”
Amid that confession another controversy stirred, this time in a series of tweets from West, written after he taped the talk with Lauer Tuesday, alleging that he was put in an uncomfortable situation in the course of his TODAY interview. What really happened?
As explained Thursday morning on TODAY, while West was speaking to Lauer on Tuesday, explaining at one point that he empathized with the president in the wake of his own Taylor Swift controversy, tape of West’s MTV VMA appearance rolled in the background.
West: Yo, how am I supposed to talk if you're gonna run this thing in the middle of my talking?
Lauer: It's under, you won't be hearing it.
West: I am hearing it while I am trying to talk.
Lauer: OK, can you take the sound out of the overheads please, let's pick up. You said it wasn't a race thing?
West: Please don't let that happen again.
West will appear on TODAY for a live performance on the Plaza on Friday, Nov. 26.