Kanye West didn't vote in the 2016 presidential election, but he has said he supports President-elect Donald Trump. Last month, the pair even met at Trump Tower. Given his appreciation for our next president, Kanye seems like a natural fit for Trump's inauguration lineup. So why isn't he performing at the event? Tom Barrack, chair of Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, answered that question in a CNN interview on Tuesday. Barrack told CNN's Erin Burnett that the inauguration is "not the venue" for a Kanye performance. "We haven't asked him," Barrack told Burnett, referring to Kanye and the inauguration. "He considers himself a friend of the President-elect, but it's not the venue. 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."
We're not sure exactly what Barrack meant about Kanye not being "traditionally American," especially since the president-elect's team has reportedly faced difficulty in booking inauguration performers. (Barrack denied this in the CNN interview, saying his committee "had the opportunity to have plenty of A-list celebrities" at the event, but that Trump directed the team to hold the inauguration "for the people.") Meanwhile, an unnamed source who People reports is "close" to Kanye told the magazine that the rapper won't attend the inauguration and that he wasn't asked to perform at the event. (A rep for Kanye didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.) Just because Kanye won't be at the inauguration doesn't mean his relationship with Trump is over, though. After the duo's meeting last month, Kanye tweeted that he and the president-elect discussed "multicultural issues," so there's still a possibility they could meet about policy again after Trump is sworn into office. Or that Trump could advise Kanye on strategy for his reported 2024 presidential bid.