DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Kanye said it himself when he said, "Trump is on his hero's journey right now. He might not have thought he'd have a crazy mother-blanker like me."
By the way, that was something that he said in the Oval Office, sitting at the president's desk.
S.E. CUPP, CNN HOST: Yes, what a time to be alive. May we live in interesting times.
All jokes aside, I thought that was really sad. I think you had there a man who's clearly not OK and a president who's willing to exploit that. And worse, to exploit that under the auspicious of race relations and black communities, joblessness, mental health, all the things that ended up in this bucket of issues that were sort of addressed in this free for all. I don't know that any of them were very well served by this circus. And in many ways they are -- they are the same person, right? They are both very ego driven and desperate for attention. So they give it to one another. They are using each other for that end goal. I don't have a problem with Kanye West being a fan of the president. I don't have a problem with the president using celebrities to expose important issues, but the problem is I don't think any of that happened today because today was bonkers. It was crazy. It was off the rails. How could anything be accomplished in that kind of environment with that little seriousness paid to those very important issues.
BASH: OK, there's that point.
And it's also the fact, Nia, that this is juxtaposed with what Brooke and
BASH: and Erica are reporting from Florida with Marco Rubio which is talking about entire pocket of Florida gone --
NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Gone.
BASH: -- an entire area of Florida gone and real, real devastation. The president himself was talking about the fact that he got heat for going to a political rally last night. This was, today, supposed to be, as you said, as least in the auspices of having a conversation about race.
HENDERSON: We don't know what's going to happen in this lunch they'll have. Ivanka Trump was there. Jared Kushner was there. You mentioned it was something like this, right, with Kanye West rambling from one talking to another, talking about a plane, about Adidas, about Kanye West Ideation Centers in Chicago. It was a hot mess from beginning to end. And it took up the president's time. If you think about what's most valuable to the president, it's his time. You have 10 minutes of air and then this meeting that was supposed to be about really serious issues. But I think again it shows the president's thirst for attention and adulation, particularly from famous people, and the lack of seriousness of African-American people. If this were an issue important to his base, I don't think he would have chosen two famous white people to talk about any number of issues, and that's essentially what he did here.
Having said that, and you eluded to this, S.E., when you bring a celebrity or when you are a celebrity, you know that the cameras go on you and you have a white-hot spotlight on you. Kim Kardashian used that for good and helped get somebody out of prison who was unjustly in prison for way too long, for decades. The question is, that's the spectacle we saw in the Oval Office. Could he be talking about Colin Kaepernick privately with the president, trying to change his view on things like that? I'm just trying to give the devil's advocate point of view here, if there's one.
CUPP: The devil's advocate view is that addressing things like prison reform, those are important stories. The idea or at least the premise of the idea was an OK one. But if we have not learned from history, both recent and past, why you don't put a camera on Kanye West in real time -- you know, we just had one a couple of weekends ago on SNL. We saw why Kanye is a bit risky. Back after Katrina, we all learned that Kanye will Kanye. He will take the microphone and say things like, President Bush doesn't care about black people in the middle of live telethon. I don't think it makes, as he has said, a great use for the president's time, nor the media's, frankly, because it feels like we have a responsibility to shed light on those issues. I wish that had been an opportunity to do that instead of Kanye's bizarre and, frankly, very troubling ramblings.