In a bizarre scene just before Thanksgiving, former President Donald Trump had dinner at Mar-a-Lago with rapper and anti-Semite Kanye West, white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, and anti-Semite and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
The event came on the heels of West announcing that he's running for president in 2024. Writing in the Washington Examiner, conservative Byron York says the whole thing was a "publicity coup for West, Fuentes, and Yiannopoulos."
According to York, Trump was "played by a trio of clever publicity hounds" and he made matters worse with his "increasingly panicked-sounding explanations for what took place."
In a post to Truth Social after the dinner, Trump said that West "showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. 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."
In another post, Trump said West "expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on 'Tucker Carlson.' Why wouldn't I agree to meet? Also, I didn't know Nick Fuentes."
But as York points out, West and Fuentes "seemed delighted at having pulled off the coup of enlisting Trump, the former president, in a stunt to promote West's own presidential foray," as evidenced in a now-deleted video shared by West where he's seen recounting his version of the dinner.
"I think the thing that Trump was most perturbed about was me asking him to be my vice president," West said in the video. "When Trump started basically screaming at me at the table, telling me I was going to lose — has that ever worked for anyone in history?" West continued to more laughs. "I'm like, 'Hold on, hold on, hold on, Trump — you're talking to Ye.'"
In the meantime, Trump has once again been damaged by his own actions.
"There is a debate about how intentional those actions were. Despite his protests of ignorance, did the former president in fact know who Fuentes was and decided to send some sort of message by dining with him? The answer to that is unclear. But Trump certainly knew who West was and welcomed him. That's bad enough," York writes.
Read the full article over at the Washington Examiner.