It was nearly a month ago that the media was in an uproar after former President Donald Trump had dinner guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that included admitted anti-Semitic white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
Now, in belated response to intense criticism from the left and the right, Trump has fully denounced Fuentes and his views as having no acceptable place in his America First and Make America Great Again movements, Breitbart reported.
Asked specifically if people like Fuentes had any place among his base of support, Trump said, “No, they don’t. Nobody does that has the wrong and ill will about people.”
Media and political establishment freak out over Trump dinner guests
Axios reported at the time that it was just before Thanksgiving when former President Trump welcomed rapper Kanye West and a few of his unannounced guests, including Fuentes, to join him for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Fuentes, who rose to infamous prominence in the controversial 2017 “Unite the Right” rally that ended in deadly violence between leftist protesters and white supremacists, has continued to court controversy by openly espousing racist and anti-Semitic views, including denial of the Holocaust, among other things that are generally unacceptable in polite society.
The media immediately freaked out about Trump’s dinner guests, and the former president did little to calm the outrage by not immediately denouncing Fuentes and his views, instead simply claiming in a statement that Fuentes was “a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
Of course, that wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy Trump’s critics, and in addition to being called out over the alleged association with Fuentes by Democrats, the White House, and their media allies, NPR reported that many top Republicans — including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and former Vice President Mike Pence — joined in the pile-on of the former president over his despised dinner guest.
“Fake news” made a “big deal” over non-issue
Fast-forward nearly a month to an exclusive interview Breitbart conducted with former President Trump following a speech to Jewish supporters at his Doral golf course in Miami, Florida, and Trump finally fully addressed the controversial dinner meeting with West and his unannounced or invited guests.
“Very importantly, I didn’t know [Fuentes] and I never heard of him,” Trump reiterated to the outlet before recalling the meeting with West, who at the time faced his own controversy over anti-Semitic remarks and, according to Trump, had sought the former president’s advice and assistance.
“I agreed to that. He brought a group of people along. One of the people was this one,” he continued in reference to Fuentes. “How would I know what Kanye’s views of the world are? I didn’t do a study of Kanye. I didn’t do a study as to what he thinks of a certain race or a certain religion or anything else.”
He recalled that everything had gone well at the meeting, but, “Then, I only heard a day or two after that that he had said some very negative antisemitic remarks. But he didn’t say anything negative at all about anything in terms of antisemitic during that dinner.”
“The dinner was a quick dinner. The dinner went very quickly and then they went off and then I found out who the other one was,” Trump added. “There were other people too. One was a real estate person, and one was a person in politics who everybody knew, well-known and respected. The fake news media made a big deal over something, and they shouldn’t have done that.”
No place for anti-Semites and racists
The Breitbart reporter then asked Trump more directly if Fuentes and others like him, who openly espouse anti-Semitic and racist viewpoints, had any place in his America First movement or the Republican Party more broadly.
“No, they don’t. Nobody does that has the wrong and ill will about people,” the former president replied. “We don’t want ill will. But again, it was very unfairly covered. It was very, very unfairly covered.”