Extremism on the Menu: Trump’s Dinner With Ye and Nick Fuentes

Nick Fuentes—the racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, America-hating, Christian fascist leader of the white nationalist America First movement—is usually a prolific poster on social media (at least on the far-right platforms from which he has not already been banned). Given that Fuentes is fully aware that his radical views and relentless bigotry have largely rendered him politically toxic, it raised some questions about just what he might be up to when he mysteriously and uncharacteristically went silent a little over a week ago.

It turned out that Fuentes had good reason to fall silent, as he was busy dining with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago and hanging out with Kanye West, reportedly to help the rap mogul plot a run for the White House.

How did we get here?

First, let’s begin with West. West, who now goes by the name Ye, received widespread criticism and condemnation earlier this month after his latest antisemitic outburst. But he found support in Fuentes, who has long idolized West, and shares his antipathy toward Jewish people. Galvanized by West, Fuentes has doubled down on his own virulently antisemitic views.

On Friday, Nov. 18, TMZ reported that West had been photographed in Beverly Hills with Milo Yiannopoulos—the far-right shyster who was once a right-wing enfant terrible until his career imploded after he defended pederasty and who has since rebranded himself as “ex-gay” and militantly Catholic. Yiannopoulos and Fuentes are close allies, with Yiannopoulos orchestrating Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s appearance at Fuentes’ America First Political Action Conference in February. Given that Yiannopoulos, who was until recently interning for Greene’s congressional office, was publicly seen hanging around with West in California, it seemed likely to Right Wing Watch that Fuentes was doing the same, especially when Fuentes briefly reemerged on Telegram to post an illustrated image of himself shaking hands with West.

These suspicions were confirmed on Sunday, Nov. 20, when a video was posted on YouTube showing West and Yiannopoulos together in which West announced that he intends to run for president. At one point in the video, Fuentes could be seen briefly in the background.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, West posted a message on Twitter revealing that he had met with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. That same night, Right Wing Watch received an email from a reader containing a brief video showing West and Fuentes walking through the Miami airport together.

Initially, it was unclear what sort of meeting West had had with Trump and whether Fuentes had been involved, but eventually it was revealed that West and Fuentes had dined with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club. Trump was “really impressed” by Fuentes, according to West, a statement Fuentes himself confirmed.

When Fuentes finally returned home from his whirlwind trip, he did a livestream broadcast on Friday night in which he announced that his nightly program is being suspended indefinitely as he and Yiannopoulos transition to working on West’s presidential campaign.

Predictably, a wave of outrage followed the revelation that Trump had dined with Fuentes, whose radical political agenda and unrelenting stream of racism, misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism, and bigotry have been diligently documented by Right Wing Watch for years.

This development has created a worst-case scenario for Trump. Not only is the former president flailing about desperately to shield himself from the ramifications of dining with two notorious antisemites, but he’s trying to do so without denouncing Fuentes directly, apparently for fear that doing so will harm his 2024 presidential prospects. But that ship has already sailed; Fuentes and those in his America First movement who had been militant Trump supporters have already nearly universally shifted their loyalties to West and his nascent presidential campaign.

In addition to damaging Trump, the West presidential campaign is deepening a rift in the America First movement. Fuentes’ ally Laura Loomer, a far-right activist and failed congressional candidate, is using the news to go scorched earth in attacking Yiannopoulos, whom she blames for sabotaging her recent congressional campaign. Loomer has been posting messages on Telegram blasting Yiannopoulos as a “narcissistic fraud” and a vindictive sociopath who has weaseled his way into West’s orbit for the purpose of blackmailing him.

Over the weekend, Loomer posted messages allegedly from Yiannopoulos earlier this year in which Yiannopoulos repeatedly asserted that West is gay, as well as a video of Yiannopoulos publicly bragging that he collects “shit” on nearly everyone he interacts with and keeps it stored on a hard drive he calls “The Vault.” Having Yiannopoulos on his campaign, Loomer suggested, would only spell trouble for West.

West’s presidential campaign is off to a predictably rocky start, as he appears to have given Fuentes and Yiannopoulos access to his Twitter account, which they promptly used to attack right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro, whom both despise. The tweets have since been deleted, but this likely provides a preview of the chaos to come from a vanity presidential campaign being run by three raging narcissists.

For his part, Fuentes has said that he has shifted his allegiance to West because “we must dream bigger” and West is the only one “talking about how the aspirations of the Trump Movement have been hijacked.” It is worth remembering just what Fuentes’ stated “aspirations” are: to see a far-right authoritarian seize control of this country who will ignore the Constitution, suspend elections, and install himself as dictator while imposing Christian fascism on the nation.

Fuentes had hoped that Trump would be the vehicle by which to achieve his goal, but it appears his loyalty has shifted to West, which raises the question: Does West agree with Fuentes’ authoritarian vision?

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