Former President Donald Trump hosted and dined with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at his Mar-a-Lago resort Tuesday night, drawing criticism from both sides of the aisle as details of the meeting emerged.
The dinner with Fuentes and Ye, who has been under fire for his repeatedly antisemitic remarks, sparked immense backlash as it suggests that the former president is still willing to embrace and affiliate with supporters with extremist and racist views.
Fuentes – another avid supporter of the former president – is a prominent figure among the far-right, peddling white nationalist ideas and openly promoting antisemitic and racist rhetoric.
Trump said he was originally supposed to have dinner with just Ye, who has been an avid supporter of the former president. The rapper "unexpectedly" brought Fuentes along with two others to Trump's Florida residence, according to Trump.
"This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago," Trump said on Truth Social. "Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about."
“Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America - including at Mar-A-Lago," White House spokesman Andrew Bates told CNN in a statement. "Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned."
David Friedman, Trump's former ambassador to Israel, also condemned the former president's meeting with Ye and Fuentes.
"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," Friedman tweeted Friday. "I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong."
Former GOP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized Trump's dinner, stating that it's additional evidence that Trump is unfit for the presidency.
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“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,” Christie told the New York Times.
During the dinner, Ye asked the former president for business, according to Trump, as the rapper recently lost billions of dollars of net worth after businesses severed ties with him after repeatedly making antisemitic statements.
Trump also said that Ye, who has said he has plans for a 2024 presidential bid, asked him for political advice.
Trump said he told Ye not to run for president and that "any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP," noting that the pair got along great and saying that Ye "expressed no anti-Semitism."
Trump announced last week that he will run for office again in 2024, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission just minutes before the announcement despite calls for the former president not to seek reelection by allies.
The speech was overshadowed by the lackluster effort by Republicans to take back control over the House and Senate after the midterm elections. While the House did flip, it was by an unexpectedly razor-thin margin.
Fuentes, who campaigned for Trump and participated in the "Stop the Steal" movement that leveled baseless accusations that the election was stolen, is among those who think it's time for new party leadership.
"(Trump) really has been a hero of mine and he has been the guy for the last six years. Although, based on the announcement speech we saw a couple of weeks ago and based on everything I've just said, we have to move forward," Fuentes said on his show America First.
The far-right political commentator also said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump's top potential challenger for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is more on message than the former president.
"I thought after 2016 we'd be moving forward, but it seems like in 2020 and 2024 the messaging has been moving backwards," Fuentes added.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump dined with Holocaust denier, rapper Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago