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The Job Interview from Hell, Starring Nick Fuentes
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Donald Trump hosted a dinner last Tuesday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach for rapper Kanye West, who now goes by the name “Ye.” West brought Nick Fuentes, who is a well-known white nationalist and antisemite that creates racist social media content that includes Holocaust revisionism, as a guest with him to dinner. This dinner was exactly one week after Trump’s announcement that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes Nick Fuentes primarily as “a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.” In 2017, following the election of Donald Trump and capitalizing on the “alt-right” trend, Fuentes began hosting his livestream show America First.
Fuentes calls his cult-like following “Groypers” or the “Groyper Army,” whose primary goal is to preserve white, European-American identity and culture. An important distinction here is that the Groyper Movement faults the mainstream Conservative movement just as much as the liberals for destroying white America.
There has been speculation that many of Trump’s candidates lost their elections based on Trump’s waning support from the religious fundamental right. If Trump has ditched the Christian arm of his previous support because he knows they will now support Mike Pence, Nick Fuentes would be the perfect Groyper ambassador. Fuentes can continue to sell the notion of Conservative betrayal to the white nationalist movement, while rolling the supposed duplicity of the Christian Right into that gimmick.
Kanye West — or the Herschel Walker of the big-boy game — claims he has recently lost a fortune at the expense of voicing antisemitic conspiracy theories. Ye has repeatedly blamed “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for numerous alleged misdeeds against Black people saying that “Jewish people have owned the Black voice … [and] they’ll take us and milk us till we die.” In his defense, West has stated that none of his comments can be labeled as “antisemitic,” because Ye claims that all Black people are Jews.
These latest remarks could be viewed as a more recent opinion espoused by Ye, and some have rushed to defend West due to his ongoing struggles with mental illness. But, an open letter to Adidas executives from employees have accused the company of "turn[ing] their moral compass off” where Ye is involved, because he made them money.
In the letter, former members of the team who dealt with West at Adidas detail many instances — over the course of a decade — in which West allegedly used intimidation tactics with the fashion staff that were provocative, frequently sexualized, and often directed toward women. “I want you to make me a shoe I can fuck,” West told a senior female employee at Adidas in an August 2017 meeting, while yelling that his standards had not been met.
While there should be nothing shocking about attention-seeking behavior from Kanye West or the former president, the responses to last Tuesday’s dinner, from the majority of the Republican Party, provide the most context on where the GOP stands in their support of Trump. Considering that the majority of the Republican Party was happy to defend Donald Trump’s outlandish behaviors while he was in the White House, now is a good time to review the reaction of conservative heavy-hitters to assess their level of support, post-Trump Midterm fail.
Many politicians within the GOP remained silent on Monday when everyone returned from the holiday weekend. However, several prominent Republicans, including former allies, denounced Trump’s choice of dinner guests of the dinner.
"There's no bottom to the degree to which he's willing to degrade himself, and the country for that matter," said Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who also called the dinner, "disgusting." Senate Republican Minority Whip John Thune (SD) said the dinner was "just a bad idea on every level. I don’t know who was advising him on his staff but I hope that whoever that person was got fired."
Perhaps most notable was the outspoken criticism of Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who was allegedly present at the elite meeting at the Trump International Hotel on the night of January 5, 2021, that has implicated him in the events of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. "There's a lot of other people I think he could have met with to help the country be stronger and go more in the right direction,” said Tuberville, who was quick to add whether Trump apologizes is "up to him."
Senate Majority Leader, perhaps the most prominent make-shift bellwether for the predilections of the mainstream Republican Party, remained silent and said he would take questions at a later time.
Make no mistake: this dinner was a planned, coordinated affair that is the first major public indication of who Trump may be courting to be his next running mate. The question of who was being interviewed for the Vice Presidential position remained unclear to at least one person at the table — Donald Trump.
According to a Twitter video posted by West on the Thursday evening following the dinner, that has since been removed, Ye mentioned the event as well as what was discussed. “I think the thing that Trump was most perturbed about, me asking him to be my vice president,” Ye said in the video. “I think that was like lower on the list of things that caught him off-guard,” said West, who also confirmed that Trump screamed at him during the meeting.
Another hint of how open Trump appears to be, or not be, about publicly enveloping Nick Fuentes into his gaggle of miscreants, comes from those closest to Trump. Following the first reported sighting of Fuentes at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, people in Trump’s orbit denied the former president met with Fuentes at all. Karen Giorno, a former Trump strategist who is now working for West’s 2024 campaign, eventually confirmed that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes.
Perhaps the most telling responses came from Donald Trump himself when he eventually posted a statement on his Truth Social site on the Friday following the Tuesday night dinner. (See statement below.) The statement was made on Trump’s social media site, despite Elon Musk having re-instated Trump’s Twitter account on Nov. 19. Trump has yet to post on Twitter since the reinstatement of the suspension that occurred just shortly after his Jan. 6 incited insurrection on the US Capitol.
The statement itself appears to be some form of an explanation of the dinner that took place last Tuesday. Take notice of the phrase: “Shortly thereafter, [West] unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about.” Trump concludes with: “The dinner was quick and uneventful…then they left.” The fact that uproar of the dinner had not gone away after several days, and that Trump felt compelled to issue a statement is the biggest tell of this entire fiasco. What is clear is that the dinner/job interview did not appear to go well, for Kanye or Trump.
Amee Vanderpool writes the SHERO Newsletter and is an attorney, published author, contributor to newspapers and magazines, and analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.
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