Former President Trump is facing backlash after dining Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club with rapper Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist and Holocaust denier who has used his online platform to spew antisemitic rhetoric.
West, who is now known as Ye, recently launched his 2024 president campaign and has made his own series of antisemitic comments in recent weeks. Most notably, the sportswear manufacturer Adidas cut ties with him following his suspension from several social media platforms. The sportswear manufacturer has also launched an investigation into his conduct.
Ye posted a recap of the Tuesday meeting with Trump to Twitter, watch below:
Pro-Israel group condemns Trump's dinner with 'vile Anti-Semites’ | RawStory.TVPro-Israel group condemns Trump's dinner with 'vile Anti-Semites’ | RawStory.TV
Former president Trump posted a series of statements to his social media platform Truth Social Friday, in which he said he had “never met and knew nothing about” Fuentes before he arrived with Ye at his club.
Notably though, Trump did not acknowledge Fuentes’ long history of racist and antisemitic remarks, nor did he denounce either man’s defamatory statements.
The former president has a long history of failing to unequivocally condemn hate speech. During his 2016 campaign, Trump waffled when asked to denounce the KKK after he was endorsed by the group’s former leader, saying in a televised interview that he didn’t “know anything about David Duke.” And his rallies frequently feature inflammatory rhetoric from figures like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who spoke earlier this year at a far-right conference organized by Fuentes.
Trump did comment on Ye in the series of posts, saying “we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.”
The right-wing pro-Israel group Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is publicly demanding Trump to rebuke antisemitism following his dinner with Ye and Fuentes last week.
The group honored former President Trump with the Theodor Herzl Medallion at ZOA’s annual gala earlier this month, and called him “the best friend Israel ever had in the White House.” The group called on Trump “to live up to his own powerful words, to condemn in the strongest possible terms Jew-hater Kanye West and avowed holocaust denying, white supremacist, Jew-hater Nick Fuentes.” They continued, “ZOA deplores the fact that President Trump had a friendly dinner with such vile anti-Semites. His dining with Jew-haters helps legitimize and mainstream antisemitism and must be condemned by everyone.”
The White House released a statement over the weekend in which 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.”
For his 2024 bid, Ye has enlisted alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos as his campaign manager. The rapper claimed to have asked Donald Trump to be his running mate.