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Donald Trump’s Dinner with White Supremacist Nick Fuentes and Rapper Ye Is Criticized by Republicans

Teen Vogue 11/28/2022 Kelly Rissman
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

This article was originally published by Vanity Fair.

Republicans are condemning former president Donald Trump’s dinner where he hosted rapper Ye, also known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Trump hosted the controversial dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday, just one week after he announced his 2024 White House run

“This is just 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,” former Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told the New York Times.

Christie suggested that the dinner may have been a way for Trump to stay in the spotlight: “He can’t stand not having attention all the time…And so, having someone show up at his club — even if you believe that he didn’t know who Nick Fuentes was — and want to sit with him, feeds the hunger he feels for the attention he’s missing since he left the presidency.”

On Sunday’s “State of the Union,” the Republican Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, also condemned Trump’s move: "I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader setting an example for the country or the party to meet with [an] avowed racist or antisemite. It's very troubling, and it shouldn't happen."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who served as one of two Republicans on the January 6 committee, also condemned Trump's meeting, tweeting: “Trump hangs with the David Duke of weak soft boys of today, Nick Fuentes.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the other Republican on the House panel, who lost her seat after unabashedly pursuing Trump’s inaction during the Capitol attack, also tweeted: “First [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)] and now [Trump] hanging around with this anti-Semitic, pro-Putin, white supremacist. This isn’t complicated. It’s indefensible.

The Justice Department labeled Fuentes as a “white supremacist,” and is known to be racist and a Holocaust denier; Ye was dropped from numerous partnership deals after making antisemitic marks earlier last month. 

Although he did not call Trump out by name, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alluded to the Mar-a-Lago dinner: “Anti-Semitism is a cancer. As Secretary, I fought to ban funding for anti-Semitic groups that pushed BDS. We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”

West released a video on Twitter on Thursday, announcing his 2024 presidential run—he asked Trump to run on his ticket as vice president—and said he “is really impressed with Fuentes.”

In a statement, Trump did not admit knowing Fuentes: “Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

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