The White House condemned Donald Trump Saturday after the previous president met at his Florida property with a famend Holocaust revisionist and with rapper Kanye West, who’s embroiled in a storm over antisemitic remarks.
Trump acknowledged having dinner with West, who now is called Ye, on Tuesday night time at Mar-a-Lago and mentioned he introduced alongside buddies, one in every of whom was Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and racist.
“I didn’t know Nick Fuentes,” Trump posted on his Truth Social account late Friday.
White House deputy press secretary Andrews Bates condemned Trump’s assembly with Fuentes, who’s characterised as a white supremacist by the US Justice Department.
“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,” Bates mentioned in a press release.
US President Joe Biden, who’s spending the vacation weekend in Nantucket, ducked a query about Trump’s dinner. “You don’t wanna hear what I think,” he mentioned.
Fuentes has questioned the variety of Jews killed within the Holocaust and asserts that Israel has a malicious affect on US coverage. His YouTube channel was completely suspended in early 2020 for violating the platform’s hate speech coverage. He attended the racist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and the Stop the Steal rally on January 6 that led to an rebellion on the Capitol.
Fuentes mentioned after the journey that, whereas he couldn’t rule out that Trump had heard of him, “I don’t think he knew that I was me at the dinner.”
“I didn’t mean for my statements and my whole background to sort of become a public relations problem for the president,” he added on his present.
“Everybody’s talking trash about me… [especially] these Jewish people,” Fuentes mentioned.
Still, he indicated that he most well-liked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to steer the Republican occasion ticket in 2024.
“This is a f**king nightmare,” an nameless longtime Trump adviser advised NBC News. “If people are looking at DeSantis to run against Trump, here’s another reason why.”
White nationalist Christian fascist Nick Fuentes went on a rant towards “world Jewry,” calling Jews a “hostile tribal elite” who worship the Devil and have established an “anti-Christ” nation in Israel: “Who else would be leading the insurrection against the true kingdom?” pic.twitter.com/i4mP7lI4jj
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) October 26, 2022
Trump introduced his plans in mid-November to hunt reelection in 2024, and his assembly with a white nationalist unsettled some of his one-time administration officers.
David Friedman, who was Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, blasted the dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
“Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable,” Friedman mentioned in one in every of a number of tweets.
The Axios information website cited a supply conversant in the dinner who mentioned Trump “seemed very taken” with Fuentes though he didn’t appear to know something about his background. West mentioned after the assembly that Trump was “really impressed” by Fuentes.
West has misplaced main model partnerships with the German sportswear firm Adidas and US retailer Gap over latest antisemitic statements and associations with extremists.
Trump, in a collection of statements Friday, mentioned he had “never met and knew nothing about” Fuentes earlier than he arrived with West at his membership. But Trump additionally didn’t acknowledge Fuentes’ lengthy historical past of racist and antisemitic remarks, nor did he denounce both man’s defamatory statements.
— ye (@kanyewest) November 25, 2022
Trump wrote of West on his social media platform that “we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’” He added, “Why wouldn’t I agree to meet?”
The former president has a protracted historical past of failing to unequivocally condemn hate speech. During his 2016 marketing campaign, Trump waffled when requested to denounce the KKK after he was endorsed by the group’s former chief, saying in a televised interview that he didn’t “know anything about David Duke.”
In 2017, within the aftermath of the lethal white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump was broadly criticized for saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence. And his rallies ceaselessly characteristic inflammatory rhetoric from figures like Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who spoke earlier this 12 months at a far-right convention organized by Fuentes.
Condemnations of Trump had been nonetheless pouring in on Saturday, albeit much less so from mainstream lawmakers within the Republican occasion.
Outgoing Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who voted to question Trump, blasted the previous president for “hanging with the David Duke of weak soft boys of today.”
Fellow Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who’s dropping her seat after talking out towards Trump, tweeted, “First [Greene] and now [Trump] hanging around with this anti-Semitic, pro-Putin, white supremacist. This isn’t complicated. It’s indefensible.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has been extremely vital of Trump since he misplaced the 2020 election, mentioned the assembly with Fuentes was “another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024.”
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 26, 2022
Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, a possible 2024 rival denounced antisemitism, with out immediately referencing the dinner or the president. “Antisemitism is a cancer,” Pompeo wrote. “We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”