Donald Trump had dinner with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West (now Ye) and white supremacist leader Nick Fuentes on Tuesday night. Trump’s official statement on the dinner is that “Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. 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,” but since Ye himself has gained serious notoriety for antisemitic comments lately, it wouldn’t be a great defense even if we believed anything said by a liar as prolific as Trump.
And apparently Trump has nothing more to say about Fuentes, having had dinner with him, than that he didn’t know who he was. No effort to put any more distance between himself and Fuentes than “I had never met and knew nothing about him” before having dinner with him.
In a video posted on Thursday night, on the other hand, Ye said Trump was “really impressed” with Fuentes, explaining, "unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he's actually a loyalist."
Fuentes became well known after the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. “You can call us racists, white supremacists, Nazis & bigots. … But you will not replace us,” Fuentes wrote on Facebook following that event. He celebrated that Unite the Right would spur a “tidal wave of white identity.”
”The reason I wouldn’t call myself a white nationalist—it’s not because I don’t see the necessity for white people to have a homeland and for white people to have a country. It’s because that kind of terminology is used almost exclusively by the left to defame,” Fuentes said in 2018.
“Maybe it might be descriptive to call someone a white nationalist, but I think it sort of loses something when an average person hears that and it’s almost synonymous with ‘Nazi’ or ‘villain’ or whatever. So, I would say I’m a white person. I’m conscious of my white identity, conscious of nationalism.”
The Justice Department, on the other hand, has flatly described him as a white supremacist.
And Fuentes is not content to work from the outside—he aspires to make the Republican Party “a truly reactionary party.” Meeting with Trump, whose Big Lie about the 2020 election Fuentes has worked to push, is a nice step for him.
In a suuuuper brave statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition said, “We strongly condemn the virulent antisemitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes and call on all political leaders to reject their messages of hate and refuse to meet with them.” All political leaders, mind you, with no specific mention of the one who just had dinner with them.
It’s 2022 and a former occupant of the White House and current presidential candidate just had dinner with an antisemite and a white supremacist.