- Then-President Trump said he hoped Alice Marie Johnson "doesn't go out and kill anyone."
- Trump's comments came after he decided to grant Johnson clemency and are in Jared Kushner's memoir.
- Johnson's case was championed by celebrity Kim Kardashian.
Then-President Donald Trump said he hoped Alice Marie Johnson "doesn't go out and kill anyone" after he decided to grant her clemency for a non-violent drug offense, according to a forthcoming memoir by former White House senior advisor Jared Kushner.
Trump made the comments days after he met with celebrity Kim Kardashian on May 30, 2018, according to Kushner. The reality TV star and mogul had met with the president to convince him that Johnson should be freed from prison for her first-time conviction.
"She gracefully presented Alice's case to the president. She knew the details backward and forward," Kushner wrote of Kardashian, according to a page of the book tweeted by New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel on Wednesday.
Two days later, Trump called Kushner to inform him that he will commute Johnson's sentence.
"Let's do the pardon. Let's hope Alice doesn't go out and kill anyone!" Trump told Kushner, per the book, slated for release later this year.
At the time, the White House celebrated the then-63-year-old grandmother as a "model prisoner over the past two decades."
"Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates," the White House said in a statement announcing the commutation on June 6, 2018.
The Trump administration took up the case as part of its efforts on criminal justice reform. Later that year, Trump signed into law the bipartisan First Step Act, which aimed to reform federal sentencing.
Johnson, now a criminal justice reform advocate, praised Trump at the Republican National Convention in August 2020. That same month, Trump granted Johnson a full pardon.
In response to Trump's newly surfaced comments about Johnson, a human rights attorney who worked with Kushner and Kardashian on Johnson's case said that the former president was likely joking.
"It strikes me that that was probably a joke he made," Jessica Jackson told Insider on Wednesday. "I know he really deeply cares about this issue."