During a joint interview with Kim Kardashian, Alice Johnson said the criticism that President Trump granted her clemency only for political gain is ‘very unfair’.
Johnson was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for a first time, non-violent drug offense. Last year, Kim Kardashian saw Johnson’s case on Twitter and hired a legal team to get the great-grandmother out of prison and back to her family. A few weeks ago, Kardashian met President Trump over the matter. Days later, the President granted Johnson an official pardon. At the time of release, Alice Johnson had spent over 21 years in prison. Kardashian met Johnson for the first time ever in Mississippi yesterday and the two sat down for a joint interview with Mic.
Before meeting her, Alice said she did not feel like she was about to meet the mega-celebrity Kim Kardashian West. She said, “For me, Kim does not seem like a celebrity, she seems like a friend. So I don’t have that feeling that others have about meeting her as ‘celebrity Kim’ but I’m meeting a friend who fought for me.”
During the interview, they were asked what they thought of the idea that Trump granted Johnson a pardon only for political gain. Speaking directly, Johnson said, “That’s a very unfair criticism toward the President because he could have selected someone less controversial than myself. He could have selected someone for clemency who didn’t have such an ugly charge as I had in this conspiracy and it’s almost – I hate to use this word – it’s almost like he’s damned if he do and damned if he don’t.”
She added that it was not necessary to see this as a political matter, saying, “How about you just give this man credit for doing something good, for doing something humane, and stop making everything political?”
Backing Johnson, Kardashian said, “Honestly, I think I couldn’t have said it better.”
Johnson was also asked if she thought this could happen without Kim Kardashian being on her defense team. Johnson said that she believed Kim was essential to her release. She explained, “Because I’ve tried, I had tried three other times. During the Obama presidency. And everyone was saying that ‘If you don’t get it now, it’s not going to happen.’ So under the new administration, I just believe this is part of the whole plan of God to show everybody that you can get a miracle from the least likely sources.”
The two were asked what they saw their relationship being like in the future. Kim said that she felt she would always be connected to Alice.
Johnson added that while she couldn’t predict the future, Kim would “always be a woman who’s covered in prayer every single day. So we’ll be connected in the spirit no matter what.”
Kardashian also added that while Alice was the first person she had helped to be treated justly, she wanted all those that are in Alice’s position to know that this ‘is just the beginning’. After her talks with the White House, she felt confident that the President and other staff members are aware of the magnitude of the prison reform issue and willing to make changes.
Now that she is out of prison, Alice Johnson says she plans to catch up with what she has missed. She wants to go to the movies and to visit the beach and feel the sand under her feet and the freedom in the breeze. When prompted by Kim, she also added that she wants a spa treatment, including a manicure and pedicure.