Trump, Fuentes, and Ye
Dear Commons Community,
Donald Trump this week praised his dinner guest Nick Fuentes, one of the most prominent young right-wing extremists in the nation, according to a report Friday in The New York Times
Trump on Tuesday night had dinner with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite, and the performer Kanye West, who has also been denounced for making antisemitic statements. Karen Giorno — a veteran political operative who worked on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign as his state director in Florida — confirmed that Mr. Fuentes was there.
The former president reportedly announced that he liked Fuentes after hearing him describe himself as a member of Trump’s base who liked when Trump went off the cuff during speeches. (A source told Axios that Trump said he “really” liked Fuentes.)
“He gets me,” Trump said of Fuentes, the Times and Axios both reported.
Trump’s advisers reportedly urge him to stick to the speeches as written; he occasionally sparked chaos when ad-libbing during his time as president.
Axios’ unnamed source commented that he didn’t believe “the president knew who the hell [Fuentes] was.” Trump made a similar statement after news of the meeting was made public.
Fuentes had showed up alongside Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West — to meet Trump at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida on Tuesday. Sources confirmed the meeting to outlets like Axios and Politico.
“Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business,” Trump wrote Friday on Truth Social, the platform he founded after getting banned from Twitter in early 2021.
“Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson [Tonight].’ Why wouldn’t I agree to meet?” Trump wrote, referring to the Fox News program.
Fuentes, a white supremacist, has prompted outrage after cropping up alongside other prominent Republicans in the past, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia and Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona ― both of whom later sought to distance themselves from Fuentes.
Trump also said on Truth Social that he discouraged Ye from announcing a 2024 presidential run while the two met. Trump’s own 2024 campaign is less than two weeks old.
Ye, however, announced his candidacy Thursday on Twitter with a video in which he partially described the dinner, stating that Trump had said something derogatory about Kim Kardashian, Ye’s ex-wife.
The rapper’s Twitter account had been reinstated earlier this month under the leadership of new CEO Elon Musk. It was also on the platform that Ye posted a screenshot of a text thread purportedly between himself, right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos, Fuentes and another individual whose name was blurred out.
Fuentes attracted public attention during the Trump years as the founder of an extremist youth group called America First who espouses hateful views that are especially hostile to people of color, women and Jewish people. He has at various times stated that segregation was better for Black Americans and minimized the Holocaust by questioning how many people were killed, comparing them to cookies baking in an oven.
Fuentes also participated in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Directly after the event, which left one woman dead, Fuentes praised it as “incredible,” writing on Facebook that the “rootless transnational elite knows that a tidal wave of white identity is coming.”
Scores of Republicans chastised Trump for hosting Fuentes after news of the dinner leaked. David Friedman, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel, stated:
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable,” Friedman wrote in a tweet. “I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
Yesterday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential 2024 rival, also denounced antisemitism, without directly referencing the dinner or the president under whom he served.
“Anti-Semitism is a cancer,” Pompeo wrote, adding: “We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commented
“He can’t stand not having attention all the time,” Christie told The New York Times, speaking about Trump. “And so, having someone show up at his club — even if it is Nick Fuentes — and want to sit with him, feeds the hunger he feels for the attention he’s missing since he left the presidency.”
Trump, Ye, and Fuentes deserve each other but they have no place in our government!