The GOP must ditch anti-Semite embracer Trump — or lose 2024
I’m often asked to name my dream dinner party guest list, and that’s a relatively easy question.
I’d have Elon Musk, Tiger Woods, Ricky Gervais, Sharon Osbourne, Pope Francis, Beyonce, Howard Stern, Malala Yousafzai, Cristiano Ronaldo and Dame Joan Collins.
The perfect mix of brains, talent, humor, courage, faith and glamour.
A harder question would be my dinner party guest list from hell.
But it would probably include Donald Trump and Kanye ‘Ye’ West, if only because they’d never stop talking over other guests and would constantly offend everyone by saying deliberately crass, inflammatory things.
And it would most definitely include Nick Fuentes, a repellent, hateful, anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying, racist, misogynist, homophobic, white supremacist self-identified incel who praises Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin, supports the Taliban, advocates assaulting women who “get out of line,” says the civil rights movement was a mistake, and who, just two days before the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, publicly suggested killing stage legislators who were unwilling to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
He also called the deadly attack on democracy “awesome” and “refreshing.”
Fuentes is a notorious individual who revels in his headline-grabbing notoriety, and if you move in any form of political/media circles, you’d have to be sitting in a gigantic crater on the Moon not to be aware of him and his disgusting views which have caused him to be banned from most social media platforms, and payment processors like PayPal, and got him placed on a federal no-fly list.
Yet last Tuesday night, President Trump hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach for Fuentes — and West.
It was bad enough that he invited West after all the controversy over the rapper’s repeated anti-Semitic outbursts in recent weeks.
For a former US president who claims to be “Israel’s best friend,” and who earlier this month accepted an award from America’s oldest pro-Zionist organization for his “achievements on behalf of Israel and world Jewry” to be cozying up to a man who said he was going “Death con 3 on Jewish People” is shockingly tone-deaf.
But for Trump to also be chowing Turkey and apple pie with one of the world’s most despicable anti-Semites, someone who compared Jews burnt in concentration camps to cookies in an oven, is beyond shameful.
The Zionist Organization of America that presented him with their highest award, the Theodor Herzl Medallion, issued a statement saying, “ZOA deplores the fact that President Trump had a friendly dinner with such vile antisemites. His dining with Jew-haters helps legitimize and mainstream antisemitism and must be condemned by everyone.”
It was so bad, it even horrified Republicans.
“This is just awful, unacceptable conduct from anyone, but most particularly from a former President and current candidate,” tweeted another potential 2024 Republican candidate, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Yes, it is.
And what made it even worse, as so often with Trump, was his pathetic attempt to pretend he had no idea who Fuentes is.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” he said in one of various statements he’s put out desperately trying to protect himself from the mounting outrage over the meal. “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.”
Trump is guarded by a large Secret Service detail at Mar-a-Lago.
And I know how thorough they are about anyone who visits him, because in April this year, I interviewed Trump there and my whole crew was subjected to detailed checks before they arrived.
The agents will have quickly worked out exactly who Fuentes is, and his background, and briefed President Trump.
It’s literally one Google search.
Just as Trump knows full well that West has been spewing horrible anti-Semitic claptrap for months, costing the singer huge contracts with firms like Adidas.
Yet he still went ahead with the dinner, during which, according to Axios who broke the story, there was a “lot of fawning back and forth.”
At one point, Trump reportedly turned to West and said of Fuentes, “I really like this guy. He gets me.”
Fuentes even boasted of being de-platformed from Gettr, the social platform launched by Trump adviser and close friend, Jason Miller.
When Trump asked whether it was because Fuentes was on the “fringe” of his supporter base, Fuentes replied that he was.
Even this gigantic red flag didn’t make Trump get up and leave.
West, who said Trump began “screaming” at him when he announced he too was running for president and wanted him to his running mate, posted a video after the dinner saying his host was “really impressed” with Fuentes.
Of course, he was.
Trump is attracted to sycophancy like a ravenous bee to a pot of honey.
He’ll ignore someone’s background, however appalling, so long as they say nice things about him.
That’s an Achilles heel for anyone.
For someone running for president, it’s a disaster.
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this,” tweeted David Friedman, who served as Trump’s US Ambassador to Israel.
But he’s not.
Time and again, from his “very fine people, on both sides” comment defending the Charlottesville white nationalist protestors, to him bigging up vile dictators like Putin and Kim Jong-un, Trump’s shown a repeated and disturbing tendency to embrace the worst, most bigoted people in the world.
That’s why his dinner with Nick Fuentes isn’t really that shocking.
Trump enjoyed him blowing smoke up his needy backside, and that’s all he cares about.
Even as he raced to distance his guilty-as-sin carcass from the scandal, he couldn’t bring himself to denounce Fuentes.
Though he did find time to denounce West as a “seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black.”
This dinner should be a massive wake-up call for those in the GOP still weirdly in thrall to a severely tarnished ex-leader who will happily sup with the anti-Semitic devil if they tell him they love him.
Trump, not that we needed much of a reminder, will never change.
But the Republican Party must, and move on from him fast, or it will lose in 2024.