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Trump Faulted for Dinner with White Nationalist, Rapper Ye

EW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is renewing consideration to his lengthy historical past of turning a blind eye to bigotry after eating with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper previously referred to as Kanye West simply days into his 3rd marketing campaign for the White Space.

Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago membership with West, who is referred to now as Ye, in addition to Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist who has used his on-line platform to spew antisemitic and white nationalist rhetoric.

Ye, who says he, too, is working for president in 2024, has made his personal sequence of antisemitic feedback in contemporary weeks, resulting in his suspension from social media platforms, his ability company losing him and corporations like Adidas chopping ties with him. The sports clothing producer has additionally introduced an investigation into his habits.

In a commentary from the White Space, spokesman Andrew Bates stated: “Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have completely no position in The united states — together with at Mar-A-Lago. Holocaust denial is repugnant and perilous, and it should be forcefully condemned.”

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Trump, in a sequence of statements Friday, stated he had “by no means met and knew not anything about” Fuentes prior to he arrived with Ye at his membership. However Trump additionally didn’t recognize Fuentes’ lengthy historical past of racist and antisemitic remarks, nor did he denounce both guy’s defamatory statements.

Trump wrote of Ye on his social media platform that “we were given alongside nice, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I favored all the great issues he stated about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’” He added, “Why wouldn’t I agree to satisfy?”

The previous president has an extended historical past of failing to unequivocally condemn hate speech. All over his 2016 marketing campaign, Trump waffled when requested to denounce the KKK after he used to be counseled by way of the gang’s former chief, announcing in a televised interview that he did not “know anything else about David Duke.” In 2017, within the aftermath of the fatal white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump used to be broadly criticized for announcing there used to be “blame on each side” for the violence. And his rallies regularly function inflammatory rhetoric from figures like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who spoke previous this yr at a far-right convention arranged by way of Fuentes.

The newest episode, coming only one week after Trump introduced his 3rd run for the Republican nomination, additionally underscored how loosely managed get entry to to the previous president remained, in particular with out a conventional marketing campaign operation in position.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago membership got here below intense scrutiny amid revelations that Trump used to be storing masses of paperwork with categorized markings there — sparking a federal investigation. However the membership — and the folk it gave get entry to to Trump — had lengthy been a supply of consternation amongst former White Space aides.

Mar-a-Lago isn’t just Trump’s house, but additionally a non-public membership and match area. Paid participants and their visitors dine along him and frequently mingle with him; participants of the general public can e-book weddings, fundraisers and different occasions, and Trump frequently drops by way of.

Ye first shared main points of the dinner in a video he posted to his Twitter account Thursday. Ye stated he had traveled to Florida to invite Trump to be his 2024 working mate, and that the assembly had grown heated, with Trump “perturbed” by way of his request and Ye angered by way of Trump’s complaint of his estranged spouse, Kim Kardashian.

“When Trump began mainly screaming at me on the desk telling me I used to be gonna lose. I imply, has that ever labored for someone in historical past, telling Ye that I’m going to lose?” Ye requested within the video. “You’re speaking to Ye!”

Ye additionally stated Trump used to be “truly inspired with Nick Fuentes,” whom he described as “in truth a loyalist” and stated he’d requested Trump, “Why while you had the risk did you no longer unfastened the January Sixth-ers?” relating to the defendants who have been speculated to have participated within the fatal rise up on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump launched a sequence of statements Friday making an attempt to give an explanation for the cases of the assembly.

“Kanye West very a lot sought after to talk over with Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner assembly used to be meant to be Kanye and me most effective, however he arrived with a visitor whom I had by no means met and knew not anything about,” Trump stated in his first commentary launched by way of his marketing campaign.

Now not lengthy after, Trump took to his social media community to mention that Ye and “3 of his pals, whom I knew not anything about” had “all of a sudden confirmed up” at his membership.

“We had dinner on Tuesday night time with many participants provide at the again patio. The dinner used to be fast and uneventful. They then left for the airport,” he wrote.

Hours later he once more posted, announcing he had instructed Ye that he “will have to without a doubt no longer run for President,” and that “any citizens you will have will have to vote for TRUMP.”

“Anyway, we were given alongside nice, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I favored all the great issues he stated about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’” he added. “Why wouldn’t I agree to satisfy? Additionally, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”

Fuentes, in the meantime, stated after the commute that, whilst he could not rule out that Trump had heard of him, “I do not believe he knew that I used to be me on the dinner.”

“I did not imply for my statements and my complete background to type of change into a public members of the family downside for the president,” he added on his display.

The assembly drew quick complaint from Trump critics in addition to some supporters, together with David Friedman, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel.

“To my pal Donald Trump, you might be higher than this. Even a social talk over with from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable,” Friedman wrote in a tweet. “I encourage you to throw the ones bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of historical past the place they belong.”

On Saturday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a possible 2024 rival, additionally denounced antisemitism, with out without delay referencing the dinner or the president below whom he served.

“Anti-Semitism is a most cancers,” Pompeo wrote, including: “We stand with the Jewish other folks within the struggle in opposition to the arena’s oldest bigotry.”

Biden, requested concerning the Trump dinner assembly whilst vacationing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, responded, “You don’t wish to pay attention what I believe.”

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