Notably, Trump did not say the solution is more commutations, although those would certainly be welcome. “There has to be a reform, because it’s very unfair right now,” he said. “It’s very unfair to African-Americans. It’s very unfair to everybody.”
Trump had high praise for criminal justice reforms in Texas and Georgia, which in recent years have seen falling crime rates even as they reduced their prison populations. “They really have done a tremendous job with reform,” he said.
These comments, which may seem surprising from a man who has consciously cultivated a tough-on-crime image, reflect the influence of people Trump respects, people like his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a supporter of the conservative reform organization Right on Crime. And yes, people like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
That influence could be crucial in the ongoing debate about federal sentencing reform.