President Obama’s Thursday night appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” wasn’t all fun and games.
While the episode was rife with political humor – “In Kenya we drive on the other side of the road,” Obama joked – it took a serious turn when Kimmel asked Obama about the current unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the pre-dawn shooting Thursday of two police officers.“We don’t yet know what happened,” Obama said, and extended his “thoughts and prayers” to the officers – who were released from a hospital earlier Thursday – and their families. “What happened in Ferguson was worthy of protest,” Obama added, apparently referring to the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August and the scathing Justice Department report released last week that found widespread racism and constitutional violations among the local police department. Still, Obama insisted, there is no excuse for violence or criminal activity.
The president also addressed hot topics from Hillary Clinton’s email scandal – telling Kimmel that no, he could not share her new address with late-night host – to the new, GOP-controlled Congress. “Those tweets weren’t mean,” Obama told Kimmel of the social media mentions he read as part of a bit at top of the hour, “You should see what the Senate says about me.”
Obama appeared proud to discuss his administration’s new education initiative, telling Kimmel, to audience applause, that the first two years of community college should be free for everybody, that “there are things we can do to lower costs” of student loans, and that those with existing loans should have access to refinancing options to make payments more affordable.
Asked about a recent comment by rapper Kanye West indicating that he and Obama speak on the phone with one another, Obama recalled meeting West twice, but confessed, “I love his music … don’t think I have his home number.”