Trump Says He Didn't Know White Nationalist He Dined With

Nick Fuentes was a guest of Kanye West
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2022 7:27 AM CST
Trump Says He Didn't Know White Nationalist He Dined With
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Donald Trump has acknowledged dining with a notorious white nationalist and Holocaust denier at Mar-a-Lago—but he says Nick Fuentes was a guest of Kanye West and he didn't know who he was. "This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago," Trump said in a Truth Social post Friday. "Shortly thereafter, he 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." Insiders tell NBC that Trump didn't know who Fuentes was, although he did know another one of the rapper's guests: Karen Giorno, the Trump campaign's Florida director in 2016.

Fuentes, 24, is a prominent figure in the far right. He frequently posts racist content on his online shows—and West was recently removed from several social media platforms for making antisemitic remarks, Politico notes. In recent weeks, Fuentes has used his podcast to demand that Jews leave the country, the New York Times reports. Giorno tells the Washington Post that Trump was impressed by Fuentes and asked him a lot of questions. "Nick knew people and figures and speeches and rallies and what surrounded the Trump culture, particularly when it came to the base," she says. In a video posted on Twitter, West said Trump was impressed by Fuentes because "unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist."

According to Giorno—and West's video—the Tuesday dinner was friendly until Trump started talking negatively about Kim Kardashian, the rapper's ex-wife. Trump and West have both recently announced 2024 White House bids. In his video, West said Trump became angry when he asked the former president if he would become his running mate. "Trump started basically screaming at me at the table telling me I was going to lose," he said. Trump allies including David M. Friedman, the Trump administration's ambassador to Israel, were among those who condemned the visit, the Times reports. "Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable," Friedman said. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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