Kanye West takes first official steps towards running for US president

16 July 2020, 14:22 | Updated: 16 July 2020, 19:05

Kanye West has taken his first official steps towards running for US president against Donald Trump and Joe Biden in November.

A representative for the rapper, who recently revealed he has never voted before, filed the necessary paperwork and paid the $35,000 (£27,623) fee to appear on Oklahoma's presidential ballot.

West squeaked in just ahead of the deadline, which was the end of Wednesday.

Oklahoma Board of Elections spokeswoman Misha Mohr confirmed he had paid the fee, which two others also did - concert pianist Jade Simmons and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce.

A form, the first required by the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) to officially run for president, was also filed by the "Kanye 2020" team on Thursday, with the music star's address given as his Wyoming ranch.

It also says he is running as part of the BDY party, short for The Birthday Party, which West created when he announced his plan to run earlier this month.

When asked why he chose that name, he said: "Because when we win, it's everybody's birthday."

The FEC said it could not confirm if the filing was legitimate and a second form, a statement of candidacy, has not yet been filed.

A spokesman said the second form is filed once a candidate has raised or spent more than $5,000 in campaign activity, triggering official candidacy status under federal campaign finance law.

There had been some confusion over whether West was actually running.

Only a day before he filed his first paperwork, New York Magazine's "Intelligencer" quoted his adviser Steve Kramer saying "he's out" and that staff West had hired were disappointed.

But the filings appear to confirm the rapper is serious about running for president against the current White House incumbent Mr Trump and Democrat nominee Mr Biden.

However, West has already missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states and it is unclear whether he's willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others.

West initially announced his intention to run for president on 4 July, and days later he told Forbes magazine he was dropping his support for Mr Trump despite having been a vocal supporter of the president since his 2016 win.

He said that he had "lost confidence" in Mr Trump over his handling of the coronavirus crisis and the fallout from the police killing of George Floyd.

West also revealed he decided to run for the presidency while in the shower, saying: "I write raps in the shower. It hit me to say, 'you're going to run for president' and I started laughing hysterically.

"And I just laughed in the shower, I don't know for how long, but that's the moment it hit me."

The rapper also said he was being advised by his reality star wife Kim Kardashian West, who recently became a billionaire and is training to become a lawyer, and Tesla boss Elon Musk.

West, who said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, told Forbes he planned to model his White House on the fictional land of Wakanda from Marvel's Black Panther comics if he won.

"Let's get back to Wakanda," he said.

Sky News has contacted West's agent for a comment.