SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — Kim Kardashian West and Alice Marie Johnson, the woman President Donald Trump freed from life in federal prison, say they won't stop advocating for other people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

The women appeared together in an interview NBC's "Today" show aired Thursday after they met face to face for the first time in Mississippi.

Johnson says she plans to work for inmates still behind bars.

"I plan on continuing to magnify this issue. I can't stop," she said. "I've lived it, I've walked with them, I've cried with them. My life is completely intertwined forever with those who were left behind."

NBC reports that Kardashian West says she's already brought other cases to the White House, using her status as a reality TV celebrity for the greater good.

Kardashian West says people are asking her if she's getting into politics, "and I say 'no, I'm still doing me.'"

"To me this has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with people," she said. "I hope maybe this inspires more people to talk to the people in power, that you can have an effect over them for the greater good of other people."

Johnson said she didn't know her sentence had been commuted until Kardashian West broke the news to her in a prison phone call.

"She said you can go home, you can go home now. Are you ready to go home? When she said that I went into full-fledged Pentecostal holy dance ... I was dancing. I was jumping. I was screaming. I was doing everything."

She said a simple thank you to Kardashian West isn't enough. She's working on living out her thank you by helping others. She showed a photo of Kardashian West and her husband Kanye that she keeps in her Bible.

After commuting Johnson's life sentence and granting a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone, Trump invited professional athletes with friends behind bars to bring those cases to his attention as well.

The president then insisted that he's also interested in using his near-limitless clemency power on behalf of people who don't have celebrity supporters. But by operating outside the usual Justice Department clemency protocol, he's drawn criticism that he's playing favorites.

Advocates for policy changes, such as the Sentencing Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, are calling on Trump and Congress to focus instead on changing the system. Several measures stuck in Congress would reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

———

The spelling of the dateline has been corrected; it's Southaven, not Southhaven.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

GazetteXtra.com does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

  • Keep it clean. Comments that are obscene, vulgar or sexually oriented will be removed. Creative spelling of such terms or implied use of such language is banned, also.
  • Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
  • Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person.
  • Harassing comments. If you are the subject of a harassing comment or personal attack by another user, do not respond in-kind. Use the "Report comment abuse" link below to report offensive comments.
  • Share what you know. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history.
  • Do not libel anyone. Libel is writing something false about someone that damages that person's reputation.
  • Ask questions. What more do you want to know about the story?
  • Stay focused. Keep on the story's topic.
  • Help us get it right. If you spot a factual error or misspelling, email newsroom@gazettextra.com or call 1-800-362-6712.
  • Remember, this is our site. We set the rules, and we reserve the right to remove any comments that we deem inappropriate.

Report comment abuse