That didn’t take long. The Trump 2024 presidential campaign is in full-blown crisis mode just a few days after Donald Trump announced his candidacy.
The source of the crisis: Trump hosted Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist known for his antisemitic views, for dinner at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump is downplaying the dinner, explaining that he did not know and did not communicate with Fuentes. Most people aren’t buying the excuse.
Kanye West and Trump Have Dinner…
So, what did happen exactly? Who is Nick Fuentes and how did he wind up having dinner with the former president? Why did Kanye West or better known as Ye bring Fuentes?
What we know is that Trump hosted Ye and Nick Fuentes. Fuentes’ presence in particular has caused controversy; Fuentes is understood to be a white supremacist and antisemite; the Anti Defamation League has chronicled Fuentes past comments. Ye’s presence, too, is drawing criticism – albeit less than Fuentes’. Ye has recently been embroiled in his own controversy for promoting antisemitic tropes. Ye’s antisemitic controversy resulted in a Twitter ban (he has since been reinstated) and the dissolution of sizeable business deals, including a sneaker deal with Adidas. The combination of Ye and Fuentes together, at Mar-a-Lago, with a presidential candidate, has put the Trump campaign on its heels.
Did Kanye Setout to Setup Trump?
Some are speculating that Ye, who has his own presidential ambitions, brought Fuentes along with him to dinner at Mar-a-Lago as a way to Trojan horse a controversy into the Trump campaign. While Ye may have accurately predicted that Fuentes would not be properly vetted, it seems unlikely that Ye was orchestrating some Machiavellian plot to damage the credibility of a competitor. It seems more likely that Ye was just bringing a friend along for dinner, someone who he felt might share common viewpoints with the former president. I don’t know. But I don’t think Ye was playing chess. I’m gonna go with the simplest answer on this one.
The narrative that Trump didn’t know who Fuentes was, and did not speak with Fuentes, is being contested.
According to CNN, whose reporting should be taken with a grain of salt, Trump was “engaged with Fuentes and found him “very interesting” …particularly Fuentes’ abilities to rattle off statistics and data, and his familiarity with Trump world.”
“During the dinner,” CNN reported, “Fuentes told Trump that he was familiar with “Trump’s base,” which preferred Trump being natural and himself, speaking off the cuff and ad-libbing. Trump said that his advisers don’t like that and want him reading from the teleprompter…at one point during the dinner, Trump declared that he “liked” Fuentes.”
Yeah, I get that former presidents shouldn’t be dining with white supremacists. But I also am not going to lose sleep over who Trump eats dinner with. Trump is an idiot. His idiocy has been well documented.
Ye, or Kanye West, is also an idiot. His idiocy, too, has been well documented. That two idiots got together for dinner and invited a third idiot to join them shouldn’t seem all that sensational. Now, if Fuentes is appointed as Trump’s senior policy advisor, or campaign manager, or something like that, then that’s news, perhaps. (Although you can’t do much worse than Miller or Bannon.)
Why Does the Media Care?
When CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times reorganize their coverage for the week over who Trump ate dinner with, it slows Trump’s decline, and it keeps him relevant. If these publications really wanted Trump to go away, they would let him go away – they wouldn’t cover his Thanksgiving dinner with the intensity that TMZ covers Brad Pitt’s dating life.
The truth is that mainstream publications love Trump. He is their golden pony. They need him, and he needs them. Which is fine but don’t call yourself a legitimate media enterprise – and then turn around and whisper in my ear that Trump said he “liked” Fuentes, as if we were gathered around the middle school cafeteria.
Anyways, what I’m saying is I don’t really care who Trump had dinner with. He’s a hack and an idiot, and he had dinner with two other idiots.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.