'We haven't asked him. He's been great. He considers himself a friend of the President-elect, but it's not the venue'
Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Kanye West wasn’t asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday because “it’s not the venue,” according to Presidential Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack.

“We haven’t asked him. He’s been great. He considers himself a friend of the President-elect, but it’s not the venue,” Barrack told CNN earlier this week. “The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it’s perfect, it’s going to be typically and traditionally American, and Kanye is a great guy but we just haven’t asked him to perform. We move on with our agenda.”

Last year, West revealed during a concert that had he voted for president, he would have cast a ballot for Trump. In December, West met with Trump at New York’s Trump Tower to discuss “multicultural issues.”

“I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,” the rap star tweeted after their meeting.

Trump has not booked high-profile celebrities for his inauguration, but according to Barrack that wasn’t the idea anyway.

“We have the opportunity to have many A-list celebrities, which is what the issue was,” Barrack told CNN. “The directive from the president-elect was simple: make it great, make it for the people, and we have three of the greatest celebrities in the world here already. We have President Obama, No. 1 celebrity in the world as it exists today. We have this, Washington, D.C., which is a stage that is incomparable to anywhere in the world. And we have the president-elect, Donald Trump, who is certainly on everybody’s list as one of the top celebrities in the world.”

Trump echoed Barrack’s words this week in an interview with Fox News, saying, “Many of the celebrities that are saying they’re not going, they were never invited. I don’t want the celebrities, I want the people. We have the biggest celebrities in the world there. The biggest in the world.” (Trump declined to mention himself as one of those celebrities, but did cite the presence of President Obama.)