Former President Donald Trump has drawn criticism for having dinner this week with Kanye West and white supremacist leader and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes.
, the former president wrote in a Truth Social post. He tried to downplay the meeting, saying the rapper, now known as Ye, "unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about.
“We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport,” Trump posted.
According to Trump, Ye asked him for business advice and the two “got along great.” He said Ye “expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’
“Why wouldn’t I agree to meet? Also, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes,” he added of the antisemite, who attended the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Ye frequently spews racist and antisemitic remarks and recently after Adidas cut ties with him for his "unacceptable, hateful and dangerous" offensive comments. Earlier in the month, Ye tweeted he planned to go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE."
Trump is now facing intense criticism for the meeting. While not naming Trump, Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, , "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."
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, told , "Nick Fuentes is among the most prominent and unapologetic antisemites in the country. … He's a vicious bigot and known Holocaust denier who has been condemned by leading figures from both political parties here, including the R.J.C." Greenblatt added "any serious contender for higher office" who would meet with Fuentes and "validate him by sharing a meal and spending time is appalling."
Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor and onetime Republican presidential candidate, : "This is just awful, unacceptable conduct from anyone, but most particularly from a former President and current candidate."
David Friedman, Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, tweeted: “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.”
Max Miller, a former Trump aide who received an endorsement from Trump and is now a congressman-elect in Ohio, tweeted that Fuentes’ “brand of hate has no place in our public discourse."
One Trump adviser told the Post that Trump's meeting with Ye and Fuentes was “horrible,” while another adviser said it was “totally awful.”