The artist formerly known as Kanye West tried his hand at a short-lived 2020 presidential campaign. At the time, some wondered if it was an effort to pull African American voters away from Democrats. New financial documents reveal that a Democratic consulting company was being used to funnel money to a Trump-connected lobbying firm running the campaign.
The Daily Beast reported that it was Ye who swore that both parties were helping him in his presidential ambitions. However, the progressive company, Millennial Strategies, may have been used to mask the conservative Trump allies working for West.
"It was mostly GOP insiders who ran Kanye’s campaign, with many of them taking extraordinary measures to hide their involvement—so extraordinary, in some cases, that the campaign and the operatives may have run afoul of federal transparency laws," said the report.
This comes after a previous report in Dec. 2021 that West's campaign used the GOP legal firm Holtzman Vogel. It was also revealed that a publicist representing West traveled to Georgia to pressure an elections official to confess to fake allegations of voter fraud.
Millennial Strategies subcontracted another firm called Mercury Public Affairs, which has far-right ties.
"Mercury, which is nominally bipartisan but has far stronger Republican connections—as well as ties to dictatorships—has a troubled past," said the Beast. "And they appear to have taken the Kanye 2020 campaign indirectly as a client, in a way that is not apparent in the campaign’s books. As other outlets have noted, Kanye 2020’s federal financial filings do not show a single dollar remitted to Mercury or any of its affiliates."
Sources told the Beast that the money that went to Millennial Strategies was basically funneled to pay for the Mercury work.
"The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of what they described as nondisclosure agreements, said that Mercury Senior Vice President Ted Anastasiou had a personal contact with the West team and initiated the relationship between the company and the aspiring commander-in-chief," the report explained.
Multiple sources told the site that they actually assumed that Millennial Strategies was actually a company created by Mercury Public Affairs. Anastasiou had relationships with Millennial Strategies co-founders Alex Voetsch and Jeff Guillot. They reportedly ensured that the cash could be funneled through the groups.
Domain registration history shows that the Kanye2020.country and ye20.us websites were registered by Anastasiou’s Politxt
"Yet the only company Yeezy ever paid for website services was Millennial—roughly $206,000, or about 8 percent of its $2.7 million haul between July and August," the report explained.
Speaking to Michael Cohen on Monday evening, the MeidasTouch podcast asked about his relationship with West. Cohen said that he is working on projects with the rapper and coordinating on some business ventures.
"Me personally, do I think that Ye is a fan of Donald's? No. No," said Cohen. "I think what he and Kim were looking to do is to help to push prison reform, which is a topic that they are both passionate about. And the only way that they were going to be able to do that was via a relationship with Trump."
The MT brothers asked why then West would run for president. Cohen said that he didn't think that West was trying to be a spoiler candidate for Democrats and he may have had a genuine interest in running for president.
Cohen also said that he doesn't believe that the person claiming to be a publicist for West was ever actually a publicist because the person wasn't on any public documents.
Walk through the rest of the investigative report at the Daily Beast.