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Kim Kardashian Explains Her Mission to Free Alice Johnson: ‘I Just Didn’t Want to Give Up’

Her passion project is paying off. Kim Kardashian sat down with Alice Marie Johnson for their first joint interview and detailed the commuted convict’s path to freedom.

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“At first, I just retweeted it, and then I sent it to my attorney. I said to her, ‘Is there anything we can do? Can we, you know, hire different attorneys? What are the options here? What can we do?’” Kardashian told Hoda Kotb during the Thursday, June 14, episode of the Today show.

When the reality star initially became involved in Johnson’s case, the 63-year-old was not familiar with the uberfamous celeb. “I did not know her name. I didn’t know Kim,” she admitted. “As soon as I found out who she was, I started getting every magazine I could find. I started reading everything that I could about her, and everyone was amazed and I was amazed, too.”

Kim Kardashian Alice Johnson Joint Interview
Hoda Kotb interviews Kim Kardashian and Alice Johnson on the TODAY show. Nathan Congleton – NBC News/TODAY

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Kardashian, 37, visited the White House on May 30 to discuss prison reform and Johnson’s life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense with President Donald Trump. Her journey began with a phone call to the commander in chief’s daughter. “I called Ivanka [Trump], and we had a really great conversation about women and wanting to help each other, and I knew that she would’ve understood Alice,” the KKW Beauty founder revealed. “And she immediately was so receptive and so great.”

“It became this mission that I just didn’t want to give up. I think to some people it might seem like, ‘OK, Kim made a phone call to the president, showed up,’” the Selfish author explained. “We had been in talks and working on this for seven months. And it wasn’t an instant thing.”

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star broke the ice with the president, 72, by making a joke about sister Khloé Kardashian’s time on his reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice. Once the discussion turned to Johnson, Kim was pleased with the president’s willingness to hear her out: “I explained to him where I found her, why I believe in her, how people deserve second chances, and immediately, I mean, the president had compassion for her right away. He felt that it was the right thing to do.” She called her visit to the Oval Office “overwhelming in the most amazing way.”

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Kim believes Trump’s stance on sentencing for those charged with drug offenses is already changing, thanks to Johnson’s case. “To me this has nothing to do with politics,” she told Kotb when asked about her previous criticism of the president. “This has to do with people.”

Johnson — who prays for Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, and keeps a picture of the couple in her Bible — plans to continue magnifying this issue for other inmates who are serving time for similar incidents. “‘Thank you’ is not big enough. I think I have to walk it out,” she said. “I have to walk my ‘thank you’ out. I have to live it out for her, for my family, for the supporters.”

Kardashian agreed: “I enjoy this. This has, like, fulfilled my heart, and so since I feel so fulfilled, why would I stop that?”

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