Former President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized for having dinner this week with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, a leading white supremacist and Holocaust denier.
Trump hosted the couple at his home, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, the former president confirmed in an article on Truth Social. Downplaying the encounter, he said the rapper, now known as Ye, “showed up unexpectedly with three of his friends, who I didn’t know anything about.”
“We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back terrace. Dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport,” Trump said.
According to Trump, Ye asked him for business advice and the two “got along great.” He said Ye “didn’t express any anti-Semitism, and I appreciated all the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’
“Why wouldn’t I agree to meet you?” Also, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes,” he added. Fuentes is known for his anti-Semitism and participated in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ye’s net worth recently plummeted by billions of dollars after Adidas cut ties with him over his “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous” offensive comments. He frequently posts anti-Semitic and racist remarks and earlier in the month tweeted that he planned to do ‘Death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE’.
The Justice Department called Fuentes a “white supremacist.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, Fuentes “jokingly” denied that the Holocaust ever happened and “compared the Jews burned in concentration camps to cookies in an oven.”
In a video posted after the Mar-a-Lago meeting, Ye said Trump “is really impressed with Nick Fuentes.” (He also said he asked Trump to run as his vice president in the 2024 race.)
Trump is now facing intense criticism over the meeting. Without naming Trump, Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), told the Washington Post, “We strongly condemn the virulent anti-Semitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes and call on all political leaders to reject their messages of hate. and refuse to meet them. »
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, told The New York Times, “Nick Fuentes is one of the nation’s most prominent and unrepentant anti-Semites. … He is a vicious zealot and a known Holocaust denier who has been condemned by figures from both political parties here, including the RJC “a meal and hanging out is appalling.
Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey and former Republican presidential candidate, writing of the meeting“This is simply horrendous and unacceptable conduct by anyone, but especially by a former president and current candidate.”
David Friedman, Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, tweeted: “To my friend Donald Trump, you are worth more than that. Even a social visit from an anti-Semite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable.
Max Miller, a former Trump aide who received Trump’s endorsement and is now elected to Congress in Ohio, tweeted that “Fuentes’ brand of hate has no place in our public discourse.”
A Trump adviser quoted in The Washington Post described Trump’s meeting with Ye and Fuentes as “awful”, while another adviser called it “totally horrible”.
NBC News reported that a longtime adviser described the Trump campaign situation as a “fuckin’ nightmare.” “If people look [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis for running against Trump, here’s another reason why,” the adviser reportedly said.