During her emotional visit to Wyoming to see husband Kanye West earlier this week, Kim Kardashian West asked him to abandon his unlikely presidential campaign and “focus on his mental health instead,” a source tells PEOPLE.
“Kim urged Kanye to not move forward with running for president, but he won’t listen,” the source says.
Indeed, on Monday — the same day Kim, 39, was in Cody at their family’s ranch to reunite with Kanye — his team filed paperwork trying to get him on the ballot as an independent candidate in Missouri and New Jersey ahead of the November election. (He has also filed in Illinois and Oklahoma, though he faces significant hurdles in qualifying across the country.)
On Saturday Kanye, 43, tweeted boastfully in all caps that “I CAN BEAT” former Vice President Joe Biden through write-in votes alone.
In a Forbes interview this month about his politics, Kanye criticized vaccination and Black History Month and said he would run the White House like a fictional country from Black Panther, though he noted “I don’t have all of the pieces in the puzzle.”
“God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time,” he told Forbes of his run. “You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I’m not crazy.”
Kim initially appeared to support her husband’s presidential ambitions by sharing his announcement tweet on July 4 along with an American flag emoji.
But sources have told PEOPLE her focus shifted as Kanye went on to make a series of alarming statements and social media posts, including claiming Kim tried to have him “locked up” and attacking her mother, Kris Jenner.
At a campaign event in South Carolina, he also revealed he and Kim had considered having an abortion when she became pregnant with oldest daughter North — a public revelation that left her “furious” and “shocked,” according to a source.
Kanye apologized in a tweet over the weekend, pleading for forgiveness.
An insider tells PEOPLE now that “Kim wants him to get his priorities straight” and that Kanye “hasn’t seen the kids for weeks.”
“She understands that he wants to focus on his music, but he also needs to be present as a dad,” the source continues. “Right now, he is not.” (Reps for both Kim and Kanye did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
“Kim is working as well, so she is upset that Kanye isn’t around for the kids,” the source says. “She doesn’t get how he can not see the kids. They need him.”
The Keeping Up with the Kardashian star flew to Wyoming on Monday to see Kanye after weeks apart, against the backdrop of his erratic behavior and outbursts.
Photos showed that at one point Kim looked teary-eyed while talking to Kanye, and a source told PEOPLE earlier this week she was “hysterically crying.”
The source said then that she was drained and in pain: “She is very emotional about everything and also exhausted. She feels very hurt by Kanye. She has tried to reach him multiple times, and he just ignores her.”
She returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday after spending the night in Cody.
“She is shielding the kids. All of her family is. They’ve circled around the kids and are insulating them from all of this. And everyone else has decided to create an atmosphere of normalcy around them,” a source previously told PEOPLE of Kim and Kanye’s daughters, North and Chicago, 2½; and their sons, Saint, 4½, and Psalm, 14 months.
His condition “does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some. That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his dreams have come true,” Kim said in her statement. “We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most.”
Said the source: “Those close to him are concerned, and this is everyone’s top priority to make sure that he’s safe and getting the help he needs