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Kim Kardashian visits White House to talk prison reform

The reality television star had been working with the White House for a meeting with the president for seven months.
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WASHINGTON — Kim Kardashian West met the West Wing on Wednesday, as the reality television superstar huddled with President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform, sentencing issues and a possible pardon for Alice Marie Johnson.

"I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon," Kardashian West said in a statement released after the meeting. "We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson's future and hopeful that she and so many like her will get a second chance at life."

Johnson, a grandmother now in her early 60s, is more than two decades into a life sentence for a first-time conviction based on her role in a drug-trafficking case.

In part of a larger prosecution of people involved with the Colombian drug cartel Cali, Johnson was convicted on a series of charges ranging from conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute to money laundering.

Kardashian West was accompanied at the Oval Office by Shawn Holley, an attorney who assembled a legal team for Johnson that's being paid by the reality television star. The meeting, arranged by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was seven months in the making.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday evening to tout the high-profile confab on an issue — prison reform — that has brought together the political right and left in Washington and around the country.

Johnson gained Kardashian West's attention after the news organization Mic published a jailhouse video in which she described how her life had spiraled out of control after she developed a gambling problem: She lost her job, her marriage ended and her son died in a motorcycle accident.

"I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money,” she told Mic.

Image: Alex Ovechkin, Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian, center, arrives at the security entrance of the White House in Washington on May 30, 2018.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Kardashian West isn't the only one asking the Trump administration for clemency for Johnson. The group has put together an online petition on her behalf, and she tops the nonprofit group Can-Do's list of convicted women who deserve a reprieve.

Kardashian West's White House visit was also slated to include time with Kushner, whose own father served time in federal prison for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and witness tampering. Kardashian West was at the White House for about an hour.

Before her trip to the Oval Office, Kardashian West tweeted a message to Johnson.