Following Alice Marie Johnson’s release from federal prison, she and Kim Kardashian — the celebrity responsible for her release — finally met face-to-face for the first time.
On Wednesday, the great-grandmother sat down with the influencer and reality star for the pair’s first joint interview with TODAY‘s Hoda Kotb. Filmed at the home of Johnson’s sister, the two discussed everything from the efforts that led President Trump to grant Johnson clemency, her reaction to the news, and plans for a future advocating for imprisoned women.
In the interview, Johnson — who had been imprisoned for more than 20 years — revealed that she had no idea who the Kardashians were before they became involved with her case. Kardashian explained that after viewing a Mic video covering Johnson’s case on Twitter, she worked for seven months with lawyers to bring the case to Trump’s desk.
Kardashian said that she initially spoke to first daughter Ivanka Trump to get through the White House doors. “I knew that she would’ve understood Alice and she immediately was so receptive and so great,” she said.
Once Johnson was on the administration’s radar, Kardashian went to D.C. to meet with the president.
“He was at his desk … I first said that ‘I am here because I really want to know why you kicked Khloe off of The Apprentice’ and that was the first thing that I said and he laughed and it broke the ice and then we got focused and spoke about Alice,” she told TODAY.
“The president had compassion for her right away, he felt that it was the right thing to do,” Kardashian continued.
Johnson told TODAY that Kardashian was the first to tell her that she would be able to go home. Her reaction?
“Full fledged Pentecostal holy dance,” Johnson said. “I started screaming and jumping … I was doing everything!”
Johnson says she plans to continue “to magnify this issue,” referring to the issue of prison reform.
As for Kardashian, while she plans to continue to work with those fighting for prison reform, she made it clear that these efforts don’t mean she’s entering politics.
“To me this has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with people,” Kardashian said. “I hope maybe this inspires more people to talk to the people in the power — that you can have an effect over them for the greater good of other people.”
Kardashian reportedly told TODAY that she’s brought additional cases forward to the White House.