It may be that neither Israel nor Jewish people were directly discussed during a recent meeting between former President Donald Trump and Kanye West (‘Ye’), but the subtext of any reports about Ye is that he has made comments perceived to be antisemitic.
Aware of this, Trump, who seems to be in a constant search for reliable allies, reported in a Truth Social post that he “got along great” with Ye, who “expressed no anti-Semitism,” adding that he “appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’”
The former president hosted a dinner with Ye earlier in the week at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The two power players with troubled reputations continued their odd association and discussed business and politics. In a twist that invited controversy, Ye brought with him a provocative character whose reputation is even more challenged than Ye’s or Trump’s, Nick Fuentes, who has been dubbed a Neo-Nazi and a holocaust denier by his critics.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” the 76-year-old Trump said in a statement emailed to the New York Post.
West, who is himself eager to establish alliances and political ambitions, even to the extent that he asked to be Trump’s running mate, said in a video that the former president was “really impressed with Nick Fuentes.”
Trump knew enough to distance himself from Fuentes.
“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,” he said in the statement.
And then there was Trump’s Truth Social post, where the MAGA leader characterized the meeting in a friendly, yet slightly adversarial way.
“Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business,” he wrote. “We also discussed, to a lesser extent, politics, where I told him he should definitely not run for President, ‘any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP.’”
“Anyway, we got along great, he 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.
Trump has been confronted about Ye’s alleged antisemitism, notably by Larry O’Connor of Salem News.
“He’s been saying some really offensive things lately about your own son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and about Jewish people. Jewish Americans writ large. Could you react to that? Because is this the guy that you knew?” asked O’Connor.
“Well, I haven’t really seen the statements he’s made. I did watch the Tucker Carlson interview and he was really nice to me. Beyond anybody, he was. He was great to me,” Trump responded.
Trump was also defensive on the subject in an October post, noting that he was a pro-Israel president, which is undeniably true, policy-wise.
During Carlson’s interview with Ye, though, the rapper suggested that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was instrumental in bringing the Abraham Accords to fruition, did so for financial gain.
“When I think about all of these things that Jared somehow doesn’t get enough credit for with his work — what is it his work? In Israel, what is this, in Palestine, you know where he made his peace treaties? do you know the facts on this right here?” West said during the interview.
Carlson interjected that it was to create peace between Israel and Arab nations.
“I just think it was to make money,” said Ye. “Is that too heavy-handed to put on this platform?”
If you find it difficult to wrap your mind around the Trump/Ye relationship, just know this: you are not alone.
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