In a post to Truth Social on Friday, former President Donald Trump defended his decision to meet for dinner with right-wing rapper Kanye West, also known by the mononym "Ye", at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, despite his recent series of anti-Semitic statements.
Trump's defense: West did not say anything anti-Semitic during this particular meeting.
"Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business," wrote Trump. "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 of the nice things he said about me on 'Tucker Carlson.' Why wouldn’t I agree to meet?"
Trump also defended his decision to meet with white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes in that same gathering, by simply saying, "I didn’t know Nick Fuentes."
West, who has previously expressed his support for Trump, has been widely condemned, as well as dropped by his business partners, after a rant in which he said he was going to go "death con 3" on Jewish people, and pushing the Black Hebrew Israelite conspiracy theory — the idea Black Africans are the real tribes of Israel and modern Jews are usurpers — in an interview with Tucker Carlson. Even West's reported deal to buy the right-wing social network Parler is in jeopardy over his controversies.
Trump, who is campaigning for another term for president in 2024, has himself been accused of anti-Semitic behavior in the past, including saying that he only wants "short guys that wear yarmulkes all day" counting his money, and claiming that Jews who vote against him are "disloyal" to the state of Israel.