Just days after dining at Mar-a-Lago with Ye — the rapper previously known as Kanye West — and white supremacist political activist Nick Fuentes, Donald Trump is now calling Ye a “seriously troubled man.”
It was Trump’s third attempt on Truth Social to backpedal from his hugely controversial meeting last Tuesday with Holocaust denier Fuentes and Ye, whose antisemitic messages (in which he vowed to go “death con 3” on Jewish people) were recently blocked on Twitter.
“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black,” Trump wrote Saturday, offering “very much needed ‘advice.’” Ye has “always been good to me,” Trump added.
The former president insisted yet again in the post that he didn’t know Fuentes, who accompanied Ye to dinner.
As for Fuentes, Trump was “very impressed” with him, according to Ye. Sources told The New York Times and Axios that Trump even praised Fuentes at the dinner. “He gets me,” the former president said, according to the Times.
But in each of the three posts, Trump emphasized that he had no idea who Fuentes was.
Fuentes himself hedged on the issue in his podcast Friday.
“I don’t think he knew that I was me at the dinner” — at least initially, Fuentes laughed. “Let’s put it that way. I don’t know if I’m gonna say he didn’t know me. I’m not sure about that.”
Fuentes is a high-profile right-wing extremist supported by key allies of Trump, like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). Both lawmakers spoke at a white supremacist conference organized by Fuentes early this year. That triggered heated controversy, which was widely and prominently covered by the media, which was apparently overlooked by Trump.
As for Ye’s appalling statements about Jews, Trump emphasized in an earlier Truth Social post that Ye “expressed no antisemitism” — at the dinner. Trump noted that he “appreciated all of the nice things [Ye] he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’”
The dinner was first revealed in a video Friday by Ye, who claimed he asked Trump to be his vice president, and that Trump “screamed” at him.
“This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump,” said Christie, who may make his own run for the presidency.
Matt Brooks, chief executive of the Republican Jewish Coalition, issued a statement, without naming Trump, saying: “We strongly condemn the virulent antisemitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, and call on all political leaders to reject their messages of hate and refuse to meet with them.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition also retweeted a message from former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman telling Trump his meeting with both the antisemitic Ye and Fuentes was “unacceptable.”