tv Variety and Rolling Stone Summit on Criminal Justice - Kim Kardashian West... CSPAN November 26, 2018 3:30pm-4:06pm EST
democrats control the house, republicans, senate. new congress and new leaders. watch the progress unfold on c-span. >> coming up later in the afternoon, a look at the impact of populism and identity politics with authors and political scholars. the heritage from foundation starts at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. on the eve of mississippi's u.s. senate runoff election, president trump will hold a senatorr republican cindy smith, running against former agriculture secretary mike, live beginning at -- eastern. adcock p.m. eastern. as part of an reform on criminal justice issues, sat down with cnn and eventr van jones hosted by variety and rolling stone magazine in california. >> hello.
look. i am doubly happy. tripley happy. i'm happy we have so much leadership in this room. this conference has been extraordinary. i'm happy to be here with somebody who has emerged this year as one of the most effect of and impactful criminal justice advocates, surprising i think herself as much as anybody else. i'm also proud to announce that while we are sitting here, president donald trump is in the roosevelt room with a bunch of senators, a bunch of our friends, a bunch of tv cameras, announcing that he is going to support the first step act, which is unbelievable. [applause] van: we will get into all of it, talk about it, but the journey to get from a president who when he was being sworn in was
talking about american carnage, when he was elected, the prison stocks went through the roof. the assumption being that he was going to go on a prison building boom. to go from that less than two years ago to what's happening right now, where he's endorsing prison reform, sentencing reform, talking about miss alice johnson as he loves to do. by the way, ms. alice johnson is here. give her a round of applause. [applause] van: we will get into her story. it would have been impossible, and i can say this because i've been front row for this whole process. this whole motion of the president, at least on this issue, if not others that we
care about, would not have been possible had it not been for kim kardashian. it would not have been possible. kim: thank you. van: and i want us to take the time -- they said i was going to have a clock, that's my clock, ok, good. i want to take a little bit of time. we'll get in the first step back. we will talk about our crazy adventures in the oval office together, but i don't think people understand -- you were almost destined in a way to get involved in this issue because of your father. can you talk a little bit about the fact that people don't see
you as this, but you are the child, the daughter of a major criminal defense attorney who took on some of the toughest cases, who was fearless, who was bold, who was a effective. talk little about your dad and the impact of you growing up watching your dad had on you. kim: yeah, well, i dad was one of my best friends, so he would talk to me about everything. it was not just like a father-daughter relationship, but a real friend. so when he was involved in cases like the o.j. case, that one was obviously, that was his best friend, so it was just deeper and, you know, nicole was my
mom's best friend, so it was more than just a case that he took on. a lot of the meetings were held at our home, so we would have, you know, johnny cochran, shawn chapman, who's here in the front row, who helped us with alice, but i mean bob shapiro, like all the attorneys would be at our house. so they had all of the evidence books in the library at my dad's house, and so on the weekends, when no one was around, i'd be going through these evidence books and looking at crime scene photos and wild stuff that, you know, i sister courtney would run in and be like, what are you
doing? why do you care about this stuff? like leave it alone. you're not supposed to be going through it. and i just was always so interested in it, and i would always ask my dad questions. i was always really present. him being an attorney and the stories he told us about, it was more like business law at the beginning and just representing his friend and right out of college, who was o.j., and all of the business stuff. it only became criminal for this case for him, his friend. but i was always really fascinated by it, and he would always share so many stories. and, you know, when the chance came that i happened to be on my phone, happened to be looking at twitter at a certain moment of the day and saw alice's -- a video she had made, and a company, the mic, posted it on their social media, and people that i followed were reposting it and it popped up on my feed. i always say that alice, like she found me, and i just felt like, well, there has to be something i can do and just the power of social media is, you know, crazy and scary as it can
be, it was really beneficial and helpful in this case because i saw her face and i saw her story and i saw her children, i saw her sisters and i saw her whole life in a few minutes video that changed my life. i just couldn't sit back and let this happen. i was at least going to try. van: i am glad that you did. that is worth a round of applause, guys. [applause] van: you know, topeka sam is here, by the way. give her a round of applause. van: topeka sam -- you will here from her later on. you know, behind the scenes trying to figure out to get the video to happen, there are so many miracles that had to happen even for the video to get made and for that to happen and for it to get to you. but, you know, other people would have seen the same video and had a different reaction. i mean, for instance, you quite famously -- you are a crime victim. you had a very scary experience being a crime victim. you could have said, listen, you
know, you need to be locking up more people. you could be one of those celebrity activists who's on the other side of this. how do you process your own expense on that side of it and yet still come back around and say, we need to be doing something very, very different? van: well, i think going into alice's story, it was nonviolent and it was her first offense, and she is a mother and one of her children had passed away and she had lost her job. i mean, there was a set of circumstances that led her to make the choices that she made and i just felt like taking myself out of being a victim myself. i'm never -- i don't really have a victim mentality. i am not saying that if that's how you cope that's not appropriate. i am just saying for me, personally, i've never taken on that. i have always tried to really, genuinely learn and i feel like the way i was living my lifestyle, not that anyone should go through that, but like, i learned so much from it that i'm ok with my experience, and i do believe that it was meant to happen to me because i am a different person because of it.
so i never have really -- van: how are you different? kim: i mean, when you become a mom, you change anyway, but i think when, like, if life is at stake over material items, it's just -- all of that stuff goes out the door, like none of it matters. just my priorities completely changed, and what is important to me changed. just my whole life changed. i'm a better mom because of it. the things i will teach my kids are different because of it, what i value. even now with the fires, when everyone said we have an hour to evacuate, i was like let's go, i don't need anything. like, i truly was put in -- i had photos and everything on a hard drive. i just grabbed my hard drives,
but i don't know if i would have been in a more frantic place had that not happened to me in the past. there was nothing material that i even cared to take. so, it changed me a lot. van: it is a good thing that it did. now, you have said things i think are surprising to a lot of people that you have had experiences and conversations with people who have done acts that involved violence, and your heart is open to them as well. say something about that as well. kim: yeah, so when i first met alice and i thought to myself, well, this can't be fair. i mean, a nonviolent drug offense, her first offense, she has no criminal past. her family doesn't have any criminal history. i thought, ok, well maybe if i were to research other people, maybe i would look for someone again that's like exactly like alice. and then i went to prison. scott budnick took me to ciw, and i met with these women. and i was so fortunate about 15 or 20 women shared intimate details of their history with me and their stories and why they are there. i didn't mean to have a
judgmental mind going into it, but i thought, ok, well, it if anyone's ever taken someone's life, i don't think i could really stand behind this. i left there, after sitting there for hours talking to these women and thought, i am no different than them, besides a bad decision, and a poor choice. and hearing their stories, it changed my life. i mean, and to think obviously there are people in prison that really do deserve to be there, and then there are people that have spent time where i am certain that they have learned and grown and people there, even scott took me to lancaster. we met with these men, and they were really open with me and shared really personal details, and for someone who was with a friend and they all got into a fight -- didn't even touch anyone but was an situation --
was in a situation where someone was killed out of like a club fight and they are spending life in prison. there's so many scenarios that just do not make sense, and i do believe in rehabilitation. it has just opened up my mind, so i thought if i came in so judgmental and i have changed so much, why wouldn't i want to be here and share it with people that maybe felt the same way that i did and that could help spread the word and just help fix our system? van: well, i'm glad that you are. one of the things that people are like, kim kardashian, like she shouldn't be involved with this and blah, blah, blah who does she think she is. kim: here is this. i always give props to the organizations behind this. i do get how it could look like i just came in here, made a phone call to the president, alice is out, and that is it. it really wasn't like that. i mean, i know six months of me communicating with the white house is not a long time at all, but the team that was hired before this has worked with alice for years. so i give props to britney barnett, to buried alive, to everyone that has helped us
along the way. i have never claimed to do this by myself. i've always said, use me. i know that i could walk into the white house and have the conversation, so i will be the vessel and we work together as a team and everyone is happy, and sean was with us there, too. but, you know, it is not me. i'm never claiming i don't want all of the props for it, it is the team together. van: well, i think part of what i loved pulling out of you is, you didn't make choices that other people could make and have not made. does you did make choices that other people could make and have not made. let's just be honest. yes, you don't want all the credit and claim, and you get as many criticisms as you get, you know applause, so maybe it all
washes out. you have 120 million instagram followers. you have more instagram followers than some countries have people, ok. like, you have a massive, massive platform and megaphone, and the fact that you've chosen to use it in the way that you are using it, is really, really extraordinary. let's talk about, you know, this was not an easy thing. alice coming out, others that we are fighting for to get out, getting the first step act done. what goes through your mind when you decide i am going to call ivanka trump. like, you have her cell phone number, maybe you hadn't been using it that much after 2016, but you had it. then your phone, iva, there it is, and you are going to call.
what is going through your mind? do you think this is going to go badly? do you think, i know i can convince her? talk about the moment of decision to actually use your power for good. kim: well, i was first going to go just straight and figure out how to get to the president. and then a friend said, why don't you call trying ivanka? she really believes in a lot of the women's rights that i know i believe and and i thought maybe together, you know, she would be able to have a conversation with her dad. so i call her, and she connects me with her husband, jared, and he has been amazing. he has fully listened. ivanka was amazing in really really connecting me, and we really worked together as a team to present alice's case. van: but you are not a trump person. i mean, i don't mean to get in your business, but how do you -- a lot of people might say, well, i just -- i just, they just can't get over that to make the call. so how do you get over the --
how does that work in your mind? kim: i mean, to me, it wasn't really -- i did consider the fact that i would get a lot of backlash if i went to the white house, but for me, if it's a life versus my reputation, like, people talk shit about me all day long, like i didn't really care, you know? i really didn't, like what more could they say about me? seriously? like, it really -- when i outweighed the options of bad stories about me that would probably last a week in this day and age news cycle versus saving someone's life, that wasn't an option. i will gladly go there and take
the heat. and i also felt like, if he is going to listen to me and he is taking the meeting, maybe i can really get through to him and really explain to him and from meeting all of the people that i have met behind bars, i guarantee you they don't care who signs that clemency paper. [applause] kim: so, it wasn't an option for me. what are we going to do wait four years, eight years for the person that we might like a little better, but it just wasn't even an option. van: you know, i've had the pleasure, bizarre experience of walking the oval office with you, sitting down across from president trump, and trying to make this case. one of the things i just wanted to say to people because i have been doing this for 25 years, she has been doing it for, you know 20 months, you are really good at what you do, man. kim: thank you.
you guys should have seen van at the oval office. i was like silent. i sat there and was like, i can't believe he is saying this to the president of the united states. van: i kept it real. i mean, it's not like he will hear me on tv. kim: but he listened. he was respectful and you are respectful. they had a really great conversation and shared their opposing views and were super real with each other, but were respectful and i do believe he heard you. i mean, he just endorsed the first step act, like he heard you. van: well, i appreciate that, but i -- part of what i found in terms of just watching you -- i just want to brag on you a little bit because people don't see it. you can't teach some things. real passion, real courage, real focus and dedication you can't teach.
if somebody is in that room, that room will hypnotize you. if you are in there for ego, if you're in therefore, i just want to get a photo op, you'll forget what you went in there to talk about. very easily. what i love about the way you do what you do is that you did not take your eye off of the prize one second. and the president said something, i mean, it's worth giving good people some credit when they do good stuff in a good way. and the president got a little bit afraid of some of the stuff you were asking him to do. and i was in there, i was doing my best. others were in there and doing their best. you found the argument. i'm not going to reveal it because it is still in process, but you were able to finally find the argument that calmed
him down. you made him feel comfortable and that moved him an inch. i said, this sister is bad. kim: thank you. van: i want to know going forward, as you think about this massive that form that you have, you think about how many people are locked up. how do you see your role going forward? do you want to keep doing this? are you one and done and out? what do want to see from kim kardashian in the months and years to come? kim: it is not a one and done. i definitely saw how alice's and her family's life has changed. that inspired me. i have learned so much along the way. i have met so many amazing people along the way that i feel like what we did was effective and i feel like we can be so much more effective, especially the more i learned.
i am here and i am going to learn what i can. i have learned from people and organizations. there are a handful of cases we are working on. i get so many prison letters, and i read them, it is a literally a nighttime reading before a fall asleep and try to find cases that i am really passionate about and that i really believe in. i continued to send those to the team to vet them. we made a realistic goal, if we can do two of these a year, i would feel like i am doing something. now it is like five. van: jessica, i am on stage with kim kardashian. it just love the white house, i
assume. kim: we watched you on television. >> the president announced his support for prison and sentencing reform in the first step act. van: a rod of applause for jessica jackson. [applause] van: i am going to let you go. i am going to put the microphone to the phone one more time here and you explain how you feel being were the main people in going into the trump white house and being beat up and standing with him that hundred thousand people will make their way home sooner? how does that feel? >> i am so proud to have been there and been part of an incredible team and an incredible act by advocates. besides politics, they showed real courage just because they believed that nobody should sit in prison waiting while our government plays political
games. van: well said. [applause] van: i will call you back. that was pretty dope. we might actually get this done. [applause] kim: very cool. [applause] van: my last question for you is, you are a mom, and i think a lot of times people still see you as the young socialite hanging out with paris hilton
and that kind of stuff. you are a mom of three kids of african descent. you have three black kids. as you think about your children growing up, as you think about how many kids of color are getting caught up in the system, does it ever impact to give you extra motivation as a mom as you do with this topic? i have never heard you talk about it as a mom of three kids that have a black dad. we can call them black kids. in the suburbs they are mixed. how does that impact you? kim: i definitely think about it all the time, especially if you grow up i think with too much privilege, then it can be a whole other set up homes.
-- set of problems. i grew up and was very fortunate to grow up in beverly hills. i would say 90%, maybe 75 %, 80% of the kids that i grew up around him adjust from what they saw and what they were given growing up have ended up on drugs or overdosed with no motivation to really get out there and work. i think that i see things differently. i don't want them to get caught up in the system for other reasons. it is definitely something that my husband and i talk about all the time. i got pulled over him and my daughter in the back seat was like, what is going on? she was freaked out.
you are telling me about the stuff you are working on. a story he was working on about getting pulled over and what that would be like, and i said to my daughter, i called my husband and i was like, we are really going to have these conversations when our kids are old enough and driving and out. i don't even know how to fully communicate to them how they should be and what they need to know, and that will have to be a conversation. it does motivate me. i definitely don't want to see my kids in the system. a lot of the stories i have heard from people that have participated in a lot of eye for crimes, so much of it has to do with how they were raised and what they were exposed to and what they know growing up. i would just never want my kids
to be in that position. van: i hadn't thought about it. you can have two little privilege or too much privilege and wind up making bad decisions. i hadn't thought about that. you mentioned husband. you guys have different politics. kim: i feel like he is very misunderstood and he is just the worst communicator. [laughter] kim: when we talk about it, we have very similar politics. he is very not political, actually. he just happens to like donald trump's personality but doesn't know about the politics. so, i have educated him recently. [laughter] [applause] kim: i think it gets really misconstrued.
he will always say he was friendly with him before and he is the same person and friendly with him now. i could also coexist with someone and still have different political views. my mom and my step dad did that. it is fine to do that and have different views. what my husband fights for, and he is not the best communicator in explaining it, but what he fights for is the right to like what he wants to like, even if it is different from what you like. [applause] kim: he never said, i know what is going on with immigration and this and that. if you really knew, he would -- if he really knew, he would feel very compassionate about it. he has never said he supports that. i know it is confusing because when you see someone wearing a red hat, you'd think he supports that, but he is fighting for free thought and for the freedom to like a person even if it is not the popular decision.
van: i have set it to you before, and i will say it again -- i love the way you love your husband. i do. [laughter] van: i am going to get you later. do you know what i mean? you love this man. kim: yeah. van: you are trying to be a kanye translator. kim: he needs it. fopr -- for real. i always want him to have his own journey. i am not here to always be -- i could've very easily right after he went to the white house or has been outspoken, i could've easily and on social media and corrected him. but i believe that people have their own journeys and i believe -- i know it is hard, so i know one day what he is trying to say will come out. it has taken a little long so i am jumping in and helping out.
i know his heart, and i never stress too much. van: tell me why you love him so much. [laughter] um -- van: seriously. kim: as much as i want a great was something, i do respect the fact that he is always who he is, no matter if it is popular , no matter if it is the cool thing to do, he is always himself. that is something, being in the business, and i look back at all
of the products i would endorse, cupcakes and shoes i would never wear and all this stuff that wasn't me, and i would do it for the check. i am not like that anymore because of him. he has really shown me what to do and what i believe in. i respect that of him as a person, even if i am like, what is he saying? i might inside just want to be his translator all the time, but i do respect that he has his own path, he is his own person, and he has his own opinions. van: listen. i respect you. [laughter] [applause] van: that is beautiful. kim: thank you for having me. van: if you're somebody in your life does not sound like that, it is it. i respect you. i think people in the frontline respect you. you are an amazing team player. you love to be part of a collective.
you never say, ever, "i have got this is myw this, thing," you are always "what do you need? how can i be helpful?" you are setting an example for industry at your level, and thank you very much cannot kim kardashian. kim: thank you. thank you for having me. [applause] van: kim kardashian! oh, i get a photo? i need to get my boots right, h old on. [laughter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] van: all right. kim kardashian! >> we will now take a short break in return with storytelling. >> coming up later this afternoon, a look at the impact of populism and identity
politics. live coverage from the heritage foundation started by the eastern on c-span. we have the president's rally in biloxi, mississippi at 9:00 p.m. >> tonight, the largest tech companies in the u.s. with his four: bit hidden dna of amazon, apple, facebook, and google." think about who really knows you, is it your wife, your kids, your therapist? the entity that really knows you is google. to gets if you are about married, if you are planning a divorce. google knows about your elements.
google knows the real you. it is god. it knows your intentions and how those intentions will likely turn into action. these organizations know who we are, who we are connected with, our intention, and yes, we have openly invited them into the brightest and darkest corners of our lives. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> what does it mean to the american? that is this year's c-span studentcam video competition, and students from the country are posting on social media about it. -- heiding tweeted long tweeted "what does it mean to the american? social studies students brainstorm a national rights, -- constitutional rights, national characteristics, and important people and events of nation." cms studentset "sm
brainstorm ideas for c-span studentcam. gary hoskins has had two students recognized for their projects in recent years. i think he is going for trifecta." "visited fischer's high school today to speak with her government class, and i was interviewed by students participating in c-span's studentcam scholarship program. we discussed freedom of speech." pbl -- -- is project-based learning -- at its finest. check out the hostess. -- post-its. we have a grand prize of $5,000. the deadline for entry is january 20.