Why Ray J Met with Donald Trump: 'He's Exploring Options and Creating Relationships'

·3 min read
Donald Trump, Ray J
Donald Trump, Ray J

Courtesy Ray J Donald Trump (left) and Ray J

Donald Trump welcomed another reality TV star-turned-entrepreneur to his Mar-a-Lago Club this week when Ray J went for a half-day visit as he mulls the next chapter of his own career.

"He just felt like it was a good time to talk about business and technology and Black empowerment," Ray J's longtime manager and producing partner, David Weintraub, tells PEOPLE.

Weintraub says Ray J and Trump met for about five hours on Tuesday at the former president's club in Palm Beach, Florida, that has become Trump's post-White House home amid looming investigations of his family and a likely 2024 run.

The sitdown, first reported by Page Six, was long in the offing and the possible start of a new and more political phase of Ray J's work, Weintraub says — though he says that ideas remain fluid and wide-open and no announcement has been made.

Weintraub says Ray J, 41, and Trump, 75, traded some ideas in a more informal setting.

"He is not saying he is going into politics … what he's doing right now is he's exploring options and creating relationships," Ray J's manager says. He and Trump, who were connected by Pastor Darrell Scott, are scheduled to meet again in the coming weeks.

"He always wants to prove that he can conquer the next goal, and hopefully that would be to conquer something in the political arena," Weintraub says.

Ray J
Ray J

Courtesy David Weintraub Ray J (left) and manager David Weintraub

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Ray J
Ray J

Courtesy David Weintraub Ray J (left) and David Weintraub (center)

He lists off other parts of Ray J's career (music, TV, his Raycon Global electronics brand) and says, "Now there's aspirations beyond that and I think that in the world that we're living in today there's a huge amount of change that we want to see and Ray feels that connecting with the right people could pave his way into diving into politics the next 10 years."

Exactly what shape that effort would take remains to be seen, Weintraub says: "This is very new."

This is not, Weintraub cautions, the official debut of Ray J the politician.

"Ray has political aspirations. The clear-cut answer to what those aspirations actually are is to help people and to open doors for people that don't have doors open," he says, adding, "It's not like saying Ray wants to be a mayor, Ray wants to be a governor. Maybe he wants to run for Senate, maybe he wants to go back to his roots and help a small town become more empowered."

Weintraub acknowledges the deep divisions stirred by Trump's name and the controversy automatically attached to what he does but said it wasn't his place to comment.

As for Ray J's own political ideology, Weintraub says this: "Ray is a guy who believes in right and wrong and it's not about taking a political side a this moment. It's about opening doors and figuring out stuff that he wants to do."