This must have been quite the event, since the media can’t stop talking about it.
The former president, posting on his Truth Social account, was defiant amid the media criticism of the meeting with the embattled rapper and Fuentes.
The 45th president caused an outrage – even among some Republicans – when it was revealed he had dinner with Fuentes, described as an alt-right figure and a ‘white supremacist,’ at his Palm Beach home. Ye, as the rapper West goes by now, was also present.
Trump posted: ‘So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed ‘advice.”
He added: ‘He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years. I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went CRAZY!’
Trump is being criticized for associating himself with far-right activist Fuentes and the disgraced rapper – two men who have promoted antisemitism and hate – after the three dined together at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week.
David M. Friedman, an Orthodox Jew who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel during his presidency, publicly blasted the former president for hosting the duo.
‘To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this,’ he tweeted on Friday.
‘Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.’
Trump was reportedly ‘very taken’ with Fuentes during the impromptu dinner and was impressed by his ability to ‘rattle off statistics and recall speeches dating back to his 2016 campaign’ – but had no clue of his controversial background, sources told Axios.
The Justice Department in a 2021 complaint referred to Fuentes, an alt-right figure, as a ‘white supremacist’ and ‘America First’ podcaster.’ In an episode of his podcast, Fuentes ‘jokingly’ denied the Holocaust and compared Jews who were burnt in Nazi concentration camps to cookies in an oven.
The dinner on Tuesday is the latest example of the former president associating himself with individuals with extreme or racist views despite his own son-in-law Jared Kushner being Jewish and his daughter Ivanka converting to Judaism before their wedding.
Friedman continued in another tweet: ‘I condemned Barak Obama associating with Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright. This is no different. Antisemites deserve no quarter among American leaders, right or left.’
As backlash against the former president continued on Twitter, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: ‘Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America – including at Mar-A-Lago. Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned.’
NBC News has since reported those close to Trump have been thrown into a tailspin by the fallout from the meeting, despite the former president allegedly having no prior knowledge of who Fuentes was.
‘This is a f***ing nightmare,’ said one longtime Trump adviser who spoke anonymously.
The source went on to say they are concerned that the meeting could impact Trump’s chances at taking the Republican nomination in 2024.
‘If people are looking at [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis to run against Trump, here’s another reason why,’ the source said.
On Friday, Ye also confirmed that Trump was ‘impressed’ with Fuentes in a video posted to Twitter.
‘So Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes, and Nick Fuentes, unlike so many of the lawyers, and so many of the people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist’ Ye said.
In a post on Truth Social Friday evening, Trump said he didn’t know Fuentes previous to the meeting and offered an explanation on the meeting with the rapper.
‘Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business,’ Trump wrote in the post.
‘We also discussed, to a lesser extent, politics, where I told him he should definitely not run for President, ‘any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP.
‘Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’ Why wouldn’t I agree to meet? Also, I don’t know Nick Fuentes.’
Three different sources, two Trump advisers and one person who is not currently involved in the Trump campaign, told NBC News Friday Ye also brought Karen Giorno, who managed the Trump campaign in Florida during the 2016 election.
The former president reportedly knew the woman by both name and sight.
A third unknown party was also brought by the rapper, however, the identity of the person is unknown and sources said he was ‘an associate’ of Ye’s.
Fuentes is also helping Ye in his own 2024 presidential campaign, which is being managed by Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor and alt-right commentator, according to the rapper.
This comes after Ye and Fuentes showed up at Mar-a-Lago ‘unexpectedly,’ according to the former president.
‘This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about,’ the ex-president said in an earlier post on the right-wing social media app.
‘We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.’
West had previously revealed that Trump – who has already announced he’d be running for the White House in 2024 – rejected the rapper’s request to be the ex-president’s vice presidential pick.
West has also announced he plans to run for president in 2024.
In a two-minute campaign promo posted to Twitter Thursday, the embattled artist – who has faced backlash for his remarks disparaging Jewish people – expanded on those plans, revealing he met with Trump, 76, Wednesday to discuss them.
In the brief clip, West offered his own account of the sit-down, which he said saw him air his presidential aspirations to the former commander-in-chief, who announced his own renewed bid for the Oval Office last week.
Titled ‘Mar-a-Lago debrief,’ the abrupt campaign teaser comes just days after West was spotted in Beverly Hills with the white supremacist, who has emerged as one of the leading figures of the far-right for his views on Jews and other minority groups.
The pair then traveled to Miami together, and were spotted outside the former president’s Florida private club on Tuesday.
West, who was dropped by Adidas and several other companies last month for his antisemitic comments, praises Fuentes in the footage, while also criticizing Trump – who he said flat out denied his running mate request in a fit of rage.
‘The thing that Trump was most perturbed about [is] me asking him to be my vice president,’ Kanye said the clip posted on his recently-unlocked Twitter account on Thanksgiving night.
He continued: ‘I think that was, like, lower on the list of things that caught him off guard. It was the fact that I walked in with intelligence.’
He would go on to accuse the ex-head of state of succumbing to cancel culture by firing mercurial members of his cabinet such as top aides Karen Giorno and Steve Bannon, while distancing himself from other public figures such as Fuentes due to their views.
West would go on to hail Fuentes as a Trump ‘loyalist,’ touting his support of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, by citizens loyal to the then outgoing president.
‘Nick Fuentes, unlike so many of the lawyers and some of the people [Trump] was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist,’ West said in the video, which featured a caption with the hashtag #YE24.
‘When all the lawyers said, ‘forget it, Trump’s done,’ there were loyalists running up in the White House, right?’ West continued, referring to the politician’s unsuccessful attempts to argue his election loss to current President Joe Biden.
West proceeded to chide the president for not doing anything to help the hundreds of Americans being prosecuted for their part in the insurgence
‘Why, when you had the chance, did you not free the January 6ers?’ West asked incredulously, sitting on a counter at his LA studio while speaking to an interviewer.
The rapper goes on to offer advice to Trump, telling him to ‘go and get these people that the media tried to cancel’ – ignoring his own recent troubles while dealing with the media and his owned failed bid for the presidency in 2020.
At that point in the bizarre campaign ad, the video flashes photos of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Trump ally Roger Stone, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as to signify some of the polarizing figures the ex-president has supposedly alienated.
Jones, who rose to prominence during Trump’s campaign and first term in office, was recently ordered to pay a more than $1 billion to the families of the Sandy Hook victims for unfounded comments about a supposed conspiracy surrounding their children’s deaths.
Eventually, West said, he pitched his presidential run to the Republican, who responded by dismissing his desires for the White House with an anecdote in which he claimed he granted clemency to former federal prisoner Alice Johnson for West, and not his estranged wife Kim Kardashian, who had campaigned for Johnson’s release.
Johnson, 67, had been convicted in 1996 for involvement in a Memphis cocaine trafficking scheme, which came with a life sentence, seen by Kardashian and other criminal justice reform advocates as much too tough for a non-violent offender.
Kardashian first came to the White House in May 2018 to tell Trump Johnson’s story. The president commuted Johnson’s sentence on June 6.
West, however, in his campaign clip dismissed the president’s spiel as a ‘would-be mob-esque’ story meant to intimidate him into submission.
That said, West said he did not become offended until Trump insulted Kardashian to his face, though the insult itself is censored in the footage.
Trump allegedly told West, ‘you can tell her I said that.’
The rapper said that at that point, he became annoyed by the unspecified barb, telling the interviewer, ‘That’s the mother of my children.’
Meanwhile, the rapper is facing allegations that he harassed his former employees at Adidas – which carried his Yeezy shoe brand up until last month – by showing them pornography, including graphic images of Kardashian, 42, herself.
The pair split early this year, but have yet to officially divorce. Since then, West has grown increasingly unhinged on social media, culminating in the massive outcry leveled against him last month.
West – still in the midst of the very public divorce – spawned the backlash when he complained a ‘Jewish underground media mafia’ is ruining his career, along with a host of other antisemitic remarks.
The comment saw West stripped of several lucrative major partnerships with companies like Adidas and Balenciaga – which itself has come under fire for a recently pulled ad campaign that showed kids showing off teddy bears in bondage – as well as billions of dollars in a matter of days.
West, who was banned from Twitter for his antisemitic diatribe, tweeted Sunday ‘Shalom :)’ after being reinstated earlier in the day.
In his clip posted Thursday, West would go on to reveal that Trump was not pleased by his plans overtake the White House, and unleashed his own diatribe criticizing the rapper, telling him he would lose if he ran against him.
‘Trump started basically screaming at the table telling me I was gonna lose,’ West recalled, adding, I mean, has that ever worked for anyone in history?’
Keeping true to his trademark arrogant persona, the rapper added: ‘I’m like, ‘Wait, hold on Trump – you’re talking to Ye.”
The clip ended the intro to West’s 2016 song Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1, accompanied by a title card reading ‘YE24.’
Two days earlier, the rapper raised eyebrows after being spotted with known antisemite Fuentes in Beverly Hills days before the pair set off to Miami together.
Many subsequently took to Twitter to reveal their unease at the sighting, as both have recently gone on anti-Semitic rants.
Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer called the situation ‘uniquely bad’ as Fuentes is an ‘outright neo-Nazi’ that has recently ‘whipped up hate toward Jews.’
‘It’s hard to be shocked by anything anymore, but Charlottesville marcher and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes being hosted at the former president’s resort still feels uniquely bad,’ he wrote on Wednesday.
‘[Fuentes is] being embraced by one of the biggest celebs in the country and, reportedly, Trumpworld.’
Inside Elections reporter Jacob Rubashkin expressed unease, writing: ‘So Holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Hitler-obsessed anti-Semite Kanye West are hanging out at the former president’s home – where Kanye claims he had an audience with Trump.’
Another blamed Fuentes for West’s anti-Semitic rants, writing: ‘Kanye West is gone forever he’s hanging out with Nick Fuentes. No wonder he’s been hating on Jewish people lately. God, this is just sad.’
USA Today correspondent Will Carless noted that Fuentes is ‘banned from Twitter and other platforms’ for being a ‘bigot.’
West recently had his Twitter reinstated by new CEO Elon Musk, but his Instagram remains restricted. Both were paused due to West’s anti-Semitic rants, where he claimed he’d bring ‘death con 3’ to Jews and that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was controlled by the community.
‘Hate likes company, I guess,’ Carless wrote on Twitter.
Ian Haworth, a speaker for Turning Point USA, wrote: ‘So now that Kanye West is hanging out with Nick Fuentes – an open white supremacist – is it time to conclude that the blind money-motivated defense of Kanye is about as anti-conservative as possible at this point?
‘How far are we from questioning what Nick Fuentes REALLY means?’
Fuentes started gaining notoriety in 2017 after he left Boston University following claims that he was receiving ‘threats’ after attending a white supremacist rally, Unite the Right, in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
He also hosts a live-stream show called America First, which has a ‘cult-like following,’ according to ADL, and his fans are called Groypers.
The young man uses his various platforms to push anti-Semitic and racist comments and has denied the Holocaust on multiple occasions.
During one of his live-stream episodes, he reportedly compared Jews being incinerated in concentration camps to cookies in the oven.
Fuentes’ platform largely pushes to preserve white, European-American identity and culture and pushes the conspiracy theory that the white race is impending destruction through white genocide.