Former president Donald Trump hosted white nationalist Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, two figures who have made repeated antisemitic statements, at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday night, Axios reported.
After the report was published, Trump said in a statement on Friday to Axios that West, now known as Ye, came over for a dinner meeting and brought with him another guest who had not been invited.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
The dinner meeting places Trump, who a week ago announced a 2024 White House bid, in direct contact with two prominent figures who have unapologetically promoted antisemitism in recent months.
West’s Twitter account was recently restored after being blocked over a series of antisemitic comments, including a threat to go “death con 3” on the Jews, that cost him lucrative sponsorship deals.
Fuentes, who has been labeled a “white supremacist” by the Justice Department and first gained prominence after participating in the 2017 white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, said in June that “Jews stood in the way” of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The news of the dinner sparked condemnation of Trump's company.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Friday criticized Trump for meeting with both Fuentes and West, with Rabbi Abraham Cooper stating that it is “unacceptable that a former president of the United States who has announced his candidacy for a second term would meet with antisemites and an avowed white nationalist.”
Even strong backers of Trump, such as former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, denounced the former president, writing on Twitter, “to my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. 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.”
Friedman added that “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.”
In a video posted to Twitter, West claimed that Trump was “really impressed” with Fuentes because “unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist.”
West asks Trump to be his vice president
West, who has said he is running for president in 2024, also said in an earlier Twitter post that he asked Trump at the dinner to be his running mate. In the video, West claims Trump started “screaming” at him over the idea of running for office and told him he would lose.
Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, said he was granting “amnesty” to an array of far-right figures who had previously been banned. Extremism watchdogs say antisemitism is flourishing on Twitter under the control of the world’s richest person.
Nick Fuentes controversies
“Christianity is the religion of this nation. Not Judaism, not the Talmud, not that stuff.”Nick Fuentes
Fuentes has said that he sees America’s “white demographic core” as central to its identity, according to US-based civil rights advocacy nonprofit the Southern Poverty Law Center.
He criticized what he sees as the influence of Judaism on America in an episode of his show America First in February, saying that “America, for what it’s worth, was founded by white Christians. It was not founded by Jewish people. It was not founded by Judeo-Christians. It was founded by white Christians. And white Christians are in the majority.
“Christianity is the religion of this nation,” he said. “Not Judaism, not the Talmud, not that stuff. It’s just what it is. It’s just a fact. And, you know what? If we’re going to make America great again, we’ve gotta talk about this anti-white thing that’s going on. And if we want to restore America, we’ve got to make America a Christian nation again.”
On his way to meet Trump at Mar-a-Lago yesterday, Kanye West was filmed walking through Miami's airport with misogynistic antisemitic white nationalist Christian fascist incel Nick Fuentes. https://t.co/903Sa56Jb5 pic.twitter.com/Jn3bKtt9JE— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 23, 2022
Fuentes went on to criticize Jewish conservatives: “And you can understand why influential Jewish people in conservative media are not really gung-ho about that. They’re not promoting white identity. They’re not promoting this. And I don’t think they’re thrilled about the idea of revanchist Christianity,” he said.
“They like the idea of Christianity where we’re all Zionists and we’re all giving money to Israel and this and that, but they’re not really thrilled with just Christianity. They want it to be Judeo-Christianity; they want there to be this acknowledgment.
And if we want America to be put first – and if we want to do the right thing by God – I don’t know that there can be a lot of compromise there.”