The rift is probably not causing the president to lose any sleep. Mr. Obama has referred to Mr. West at least twice publicly as a “jackass,” including once in 2009 after the rapper interrupted Taylor Swift on stage as she received an MTV Video Music Award.
“Oh, you talking about how he use to come and visit me and my mama and tell me he’s about to run for president?” Mr. West replied. “I just think that we’re pop icons, and the president likes to use that type of thing just to be down. People was fine with me being everyone’s punching bag for about five years — ‘This is the person we love to hate, so if you want to distract people from everything that’s going on … just say you hate Kanye and there’s going be 30 other people who say they hate Kanye.’ That was kind of my position in culture and he kind of used that too — ‘Oh, he’s a jackass’ — because that’s how the world felt.