8:28 AM PT -- Candace Owens tells us she had no part in planning the shirts with Kanye West, nor has she been working as an advisor, saying, "Despite the veracity of the statement 'White Lives Matter,' it is patently false that Ye and I were 'planning it for weeks' as you claim in your story. As you will recall from my interview with Tucker Carlson, I had no idea I would be wearing the t-shirt until I arrived in Paris (as a guest) to Ye's fashion show."
She continues, "I am grateful to have been by his side for such an iconic moment which fostered a much needed national conversation. Also patently false is the idea that I am working for Ye as an advisor or that I have made any calls on his behalf. If it isn't yet clear, Ye has never had any problem speaking out."
Turns out Kanye West and Candace Owens didn't just decide to wear their "White Lives Matter" shirts on a whim -- the two have been planning it for weeks -- with some of Kanye's former friends telling us she's acting as his chief advisor in his day-to-day life.
Sources close to Kanye tell us ... Candace has been reaching out to people on Kanye's behalf, working to set up calls, meetings and appearances.
We're told folks who were close to Kanye (many have distanced themselves after his recent attacks) believe he's in a bad space mentally, and anyone working to persuade him to do anything other than get help doesn't have his best interests at heart.
Our sources say it's unclear if Candace is getting paid by Ye as an advisor, but one source says, "Anyone taking money from him is taking advantage of him." As far as Candace's involvement in Kanye's life, the same source said, "She's gonna run him into the ground."
Earlier this week, Candace leaked an old voicemail from Kim to Ray J in which Kim called Whitney Houston -- whom Ray was dating at the time -- an "Old hag."
Our Kanye sources say they believe Candace leaked the vm to show her allegiance to Kanye, especially against Kim, whom Kanye has accused of "kidnapping" the couple's kids.
One of the reasons Kanye's former allies believe Candace is in his ear ... until recently he was conciliatory with Kim, seemingly agreeing she would have the kids around 80% of the time, and he would have ongoing involvement in their lives.
As for his recent rants, a source tells us, "Kanye cannot get out of his own damn way, which is the root of every issue personally and professionally." The question ... is he getting advice?
We reached out to Candace ... so far, no word back.