Trump blames ‘fake news media’ for uproar over meeting with antisemites, calls McConnell a ‘loser’

An anonymous Trump adviser suggested that having Fuentes come with West “was a setup” that “blindsided” the ex-president.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Former U.S. president Donald Trump blasted the ‘fake news media’ for the uproar over his dinner last week with notorious antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, in an interview on Fox News Digital Tuesday.

Disgraced fashion designer and rapper West, whom Trump has known for a few years, had asked to meet with the ex-president weeks earlier for “advice” regarding his “financial difficulties,” Trump said, adding that he didn’t know West was bringing along three friends, including well-known white supremacist Fuentes.

Trump framed the meeting as a lose-lose situation.

“If you see him, the fake news media will create a problem,” Trump said. “If you don’t see him, the fake news media will claim I’m a racist,” because West is Black.

West’s financial problems were caused by major companies such as Adidas recently withdrawing their business dealings with him after he made a string of antisemitic comments and kept doubling down on them.

Trump then repeated his claim of ignorance regarding Fuentes.

“I had never heard of the man — I had no idea what his views were, and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn’t have been accepted,” Trump said, adding that it “is standard for the media” to accuse him of supporting white supremacists.

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West, however, is a known quantity, as one Trump adviser admitted to Axios national political correspondent Jonathan Swan, who quoted the anonymous confidante on Fox News Sunday.

According to Swan, the “senior Republican official” said, “He invites one notorious antisemite to dinner, Kanye West, and he shows up with another notorious antisemite, so the surprise was that there were two rather than one.”

When host Shannon Bream laughed and said that “this should be cause for concern,” Swan responded, “Yes, two is worse than one.”

In his interview, Trump hit back at the Republican leaders who have castigated him, particularly Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, who said on Tuesday, “There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”

“Mitch is a loser for our nation and for the Republican Party who would not have been re-elected in Kentucky without my endorsement, which he begged me for because he was going down,” Trump said.

Trump had just announced that he would try for a second term days before the now-infamous meeting.

Several other senior Republicans, especially those reportedly considering challenging him for their party’s nomination in 2024, including Trump’s vice president Mike Pence, also weighed in.

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“President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification,” Pence said, while adding that he did not believe Trump was an antisemite himself.

In an NBC report Tuesday, an anonymous Trump adviser suggested that having Fuentes come with West “was a setup” that “blindsided” the ex-president. This was confirmed by Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right provocateur now acting as a political adviser to West, who said he had planned the successful attempt to get Fuentes into the dinner.

“I … wanted to send a message to Trump that he has systematically repeatedly neglected, ignored, abused the people who love him the most, the people who put him in office, and that kind of behavior comes back to bite you in the end,” he told the media channel.

NBC said that a few Trump advisers had cautioned their boss not to meet with West, to no avail.