election meddling

A Kanye Associate Showed Up in Georgia to Threaten a Poll Worker

He may be fine with a coup, plus his last album was only so-so. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

An associate of Kanye West told an election worker in Georgia who had been falsely accused of vote rigging that she should confess to fraud, Reuters reported on Friday.

Trevian Kutti, who lists herself online as West’s “director of operations” and was once R. Kelly’s publicist, turned up at the home of 62-year-old Ruby Freeman weeks after the 2020 presidential election. Freeman and her daughter had already been the target of a barrage of menacing phone calls and messages after Donald Trump and right-wing media outlets claimed they had been counted phony mail-in ballots. (They were not.)

Freeman did not open the door because she was already so rattled by the previous harassment, and she first employed a neighbor to talk to Kutti, who had arrived with an unidentified man. Kutti, who did not mention West but said she worked for a “high-profile individual,” framed her threat as something of a helping hand. She said Freeman faced danger in the next 48 hours unless she admitted to the nonexistent fraud. When Freeman called the police, thinking Kutti was issuing a valid warning, an officer came and talked to Kutti, who identified herself as a “crisis manager.” Eventually, Kutti and Freeman had a conversation at a nearby police station, where things got even weirder, as heard in audio obtained by Reuters from an officer’s body camera:

“I cannot say what specifically will take place,” Kutti is heard telling Freeman in the recording. “I just know that it will disrupt your freedom,” she said, “and the freedom of one or more of your family members.”

“You are a loose end for a party that needs to tidy up,” Kutti continued. She added that “federal people” were involved, without offering specifics.

Kutti told Freeman that she was going to put a man Kutti identified as “Harrison Ford” on speakerphone. (Freeman said the man on the phone wasn’t the actor by the same name.) Kutti said the man had “authoritative powers to get you protection,” she said.

Eventually, Freeman sensed something was amiss and ended the conversation. The police, who didn’t seem to understand that anything unusual was going on, didn’t look into the matter further.

It remains unclear whether West authorized the visit, and Reuters could not confirm that Kutti still works for him.

West, who in 2018 made a surreal visit to the president at the White House, launched his own desultory presidential bid last year, though he had been an ardent Trump booster before that.

Reuters reports that Freeman and her daughter faced so many threats over their role in the alleged vote rigging that they resorted to moving from house to house and changing their appearance — and that authorities did little to no investigating of the people issuing those threats.

A Kanye Associate Threatened a Georgia Poll Worker