Kanye West has denied claims he is being paid by Republicans to run for president – insisting he has “more money than Trump”.
Speaking on fellow rapper Nick Cannon’s podcast, Cannon’s Class, he admitted there were rumours that he and the president’s party were “in cahoots”.
It has been suggested that his campaign is a ruse to draw voters away from Donald Trump’s Democratic Party rival, Joe Biden.
But West said: “People keep on saying, ‘I think that y’all – you and Republicans – are in cahoots’.”
He added: “Bro, can’t nobody pay me. I’ve got more money than Trump.”
The musician is a billionaire, according to Forbes magazine, largely because of his Yeezy range of trainers.
Cannon said: “But people are saying that you’re a distraction, and because they don’t want four more years of Trump, maybe you might. You want an alternative of four years of Ye. Is that realistic right now in 2020?”
West said: “I’m not running for president – I’m walking.”
West announced he was running for the highest office in the land in early July, tweeting that “we must now realise the promise of America”, immediately attracting the support of fellow billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
A few days later he said he had “lost confidence” in Mr Trump, the man he appeared to stun into silence during an expletive-filled rant at the White House in 2018.
Outlining his appeal to voters, he said he was running as an independent under the banner of The Birthday Party – “because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday”.
He also suggested that anyone who had a baby under his presidency would be paid a million dollars.
But the seriousness of his campaign came into question as he asked fans to sign a petition calling for him to be added to the presidential ballot in South Carolina after appearing to miss the cut-off date.
He also failed to make the ballot in his home state of Illinois, Wisconsin and Montana.
In Ohio, he sued the state’s election chief to try to get on the ballot there after being deemed unqualified as an independent candidate.
Some opponents of Mr Trump fear West’s presence on the ballot in key battleground states could split the vote against the current president.
His wife, Kim Kardashian West, recently spoke about his bipolar disorder, describing him as a “brilliant but complicated person”.