Ed put parts of this story in the headlines earlier but I wanted to consolidate some of it here. The basic story is that Trump agreed to host Kanye for dinner at Mar-a-Lago and Kanye apparently brought along white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Let’s just start with this tweet from Kanye in which he says he asked Trump to be his VP.
First time at Mar-a-Lago
Rain and traffic
Can’t believe I kept President Trump waiting
And I had on jeans Yikes
What you guys think his response was when I asked him to be my running mate in 2024?
— ye (@kanyewest) November 23, 2022
Kanye also posted a video in which he repeated the claim that he asked Trump to be his running mate and said that Trump yelled at him, saying he would lose if he ran in 2024. But as you’ll see, Kanye also talks about how impressed Trump was with Nick Fuentes.
— ye (@kanyewest) November 25, 2022
If you don’t know who Nick Fuentes is, he’s the leader of a group called America First. He’s a white nationalist and a holocaust denier. Breitbart posted a few of his greatest hits today.
Fuentes Was Upset When Trump Disavowed White Supremacy:
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 19, 2019
Another couple of examples. Fuentes would like to bring back Jim Crow and put an end to women voting.
On women voting: pic.twitter.com/WOUVFDuKer
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) March 1, 2022
And since I called him a holocaust denier, here’s the clip for that one. It’s just a big joke to him.
Here's Nick Fuentes denying that the Holocaust happened.
Him and his followers are scum of the earth and their bad faith, anti-Semitic attacks should be shot down by the entire conservative movement. pic.twitter.com/7wJ9S7Q6zv
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 30, 2019
So, initially, the report from the Daily Beast suggested that Fuentes did not have dinner with Trump and Kanye but obviously that doesn’t seem to match up with what Kanye said in his video.
The Daily Beast was first with a story reporting Fuentes’s presence at Mar-a-Lago, but, citing an anonymous source, said Fuentes did not dine with Trump. That report is now contradicted by Kanye’s video, the purported text messages Kanye has since released, and the on-record statements from two purported attendees.
These latest revelations turn what could have been a minor story into a major national narrative, where the GOP frontrunner for president in 2024 — the former president and as of now the only formal GOP candidate for the office in the next election — seems to have met with an open white nationalist, antisemite, and Holocaust denier in Fuentes. Fuentes’ now-shut-down YouTube page is shot-through with racist and antisemitic rants that date as far back as 2014.
Kanye also released this screenshot of texts which seems to indicate that Fuentes was at the dinner with Trump.
— ye (@kanyewest) November 25, 2022
Axios has more on the discussion at dinner where it sounds like Trump took a liking to Fuentes.
Fuentes told Trump that he represented a side of Trump’s base that was disappointed with his newly cautious approach, especially with what some far-right activists view as a lack of support for those charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
- Trump didn’t disagree with Fuentes, but said he has advisers who want him to read off teleprompters and be more “presidential.” Notably, Trump referred to himself as a politician, which he has been loathe to do in the past.
- Fuentes also told Trump that he would crush potential 2024 Republican rivals in a primary, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump asked for Fuentes’ opinion on other candidates as well.
Trump at one point turned to Ye and said, “I really like this guy. He gets me,” according to the source.
- “To be honest, I don’t believe the president knew who the hell [Fuentes] was,” the source added.
And sure enough, Trump has now released a statement saying he didn’t know who Fuentes was:
“After publication, Trump’s campaign provided Breitbart News with this statement from President Trump: ‘Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye & me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met & knew nothing about.’” https://t.co/Wf9zoSShib
— Jerry Christmas 🎅🏼🎄 (@JerryDunleavy) November 25, 2022
Remember when Trump was blamed for saying there were some very fine people were present on both sides of the Charlottesville riot? Well, here we go again. Nick Fuentes is not a very fine person. He’s an open racist, anti-Semite and holocaust denier. Trump saying he didn’t know who he was isn’t good enough. Now that you know, how about denouncing the guy and making it clear he’s not welcome in your “movement.” In Fuentes case, this shouldn’t be hard.