"Black people should not have permanent friends or enemies," the Atlanta rapper said

By Christian Holub
April 03, 2017 at 02:02 PM EDT
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images; Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Kanye West has a surprise new defender: Killer Mike, lately of Run the Jewels.

In a new interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, Killer Mike (a.k.a. Michael Render) said that West’s controversial meeting with Donald Trump didn’t bother him.

“Black people shouldn’t have permanent friends or enemies, they should have permanent interest,” he said, pointing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s meetings with Alabama Gov. George Wallace as an example of such fruitful bridge-building.

Last year, West was criticized after meeting with the newly elected president at Trump Tower in New York. The West-Trump summit came less than a month after West had told a California crowd, “I would have voted for Trump.” Following the meeting, West’s decision to speak with Trump was interpreted as an endorsement of a controversial president at a time when the shock of Trump’s upset victory was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Killer Mike is no stranger to such meetings with politicians. During the 2016 campaign, he came out as a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and even recorded a six-part interview with the Vermont politician in an Atlanta barbershop. However, he emphasized he had much more faith in President Trump’s meetings with figures like Jim Brown, NFL legend and civil rights hero, who stopped by Trump Tower the same day as West — to much less publicity.

Watch the clip of Run the Jewels’ Channel 4 interview below.