Kanye West is pissed. Not, this time, at George Bush, but at Today Show host Matt Lauer, who interviewed the star Wednesday morning. In the interview, Kanye backpedals on his notorious 2005 statement that Bush "doesn't care about black people," saying he "didn't have the grounds" to call Bush racist after Hurricane Katrina, and the former president said he appreciates West's sentiment. (Bush appeared live on the show, while West's interview was pre-recorded.)
Asked for his reaction to West's comment, Bush says (mispronouncing Kanye's name twice): "I appreciate that. It wasn't just 'Conway' West who was talking like that during Katrina. I cited him as an example [in my new book, Decision Points], I cited others as an example as well, and I appreciate that."
Asked if the statement allows him to forgive West, Bush — who called Kanye's comments the low point of his presidency — said, "Absolutely, of course it does. I'm not a hater, I didn't hate 'Conway' West. But I was talking about an environment in which people were willing to say things that hurt. Nobody wants to be called a racist if in your heart you believe in equality of race."
While Kanye's appearance on the show was brief, he fired off a series of angry tweets after the interview late Tuesday, saying that he did not appreciate the way he was treated by Lauer.
"Man I'm heading to Abu Dhabi finna go to Ferrari Land YESSSS!!! ....but before I take off let me tell you how they did me at the Today show," West tweeted. "I went up there to express how I was empathetic to Bush because I labeled him a racist and years later I got labeled as a racist. While I was trying to give the interview they started playing the 'MTV' under me with audio!!!!!!! I don't mess with Matt Lauer or the Today Show ... and that's a very nice way for me to put it! HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT. I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused. I don't trust anyone but myself! Everyone has an agenda. I don't do press anymore. I can't be everything to everybody anymore. I can't be everybody's hero and villain savior and sinner Christian and anti Christ!"
He continued: "I can't take anymore advice. I create, I'm creative, I have a good heart, everyone will see and understand one day. Everything sounds like noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE NOISE!!!!!!! I don't trust anyone! Very judged very scrutinized very criticized! I want everyone to know I have lows all the time but I make it through them! Yo I really wonder if Matt Lauer thought that shit was cool to play the 'MTV' clip while I was speaking about Bush? He played clips of Bush and asked me to look at his face while I was trying to talk to him. I wish Michael Jackson had twitter!!!!!! Maybe Mike could have explained how the media tried to set him up!!! It's all a fucking set up!!!! This is rock and roll life my people... you can't stop the truth you can't stop the music and I have to be strong or 'they' win!!!! . Sometimes it's not simple, some days it's not easy... I just want to create. I love you guys, thanks for the support!"
- Matt Lauer