About a month into his presidency, Donald Trump sat down with then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having dinner at Mar-a-Lago at an outdoor table. The leaders learned of a North Korean ballistic missile test during their meal, and common sense suggested that Trump and Abe retreat to a private room to discuss the security situation, consult with officials intelligence and prepare possible responses.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, the two huddled around electronic devices, surrounded by helpers, as waiters walked around them and Mar-a-Lago patrons took photos.
This has long struck me as the most ridiculous dinner party Trump has ever hosted at his glorified country club. At least, that’s what I thought until I learned of another type of Mar-a-Lago gathering last week. The New York Times reported:
Former President Donald J. Trump had dinner Tuesday night with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken anti-Semite and racist who is one of the nation’s most prominent young white supremacists, at Mr. Trump’s private club in Florida, acknowledged Mr. Trump’s advisers on Friday. Also at the dinner was artist Kanye West, who was also exposed for making anti-Semitic remarks. Mr. West traveled to meet Mr. Trump at the club, Mar-a-Lago, and brought Mr. Fuentes with him, advisers said.
It was late Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, when reporters from Politico and The Daily Beast first reported on Fuentes and West appearing at Mar-a-Lago. The day after Thanksgiving, the former president confirmed the rally via his social media platform.
“Last week Kanye West called me for dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” the Republican wrote Friday afternoon. “Shortly afterwards he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, of whom I knew nothing. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.
Trump did not acknowledge West’s virulent anti-Semitism record or the fact that the entertainer brought in one of the country’s most notorious fanatics. Indeed, the former president’s version of events was itself bizarre: Trump agreed to have dinner with a known anti-Semite, who brought in another known anti-Semite, who had no trouble gaining direct access to Trump. on the place where apparently the guests were not checked before reaching the Table of candidates 2024.
I kept looking for a postscript that said, “I knew I was having dinner with a bigot; I had no idea there would be of them fanatics.
This is, of course, the same place where the Republican thought it would be a good idea to store highly sensitive national security secrets.
Also, it didn’t go unnoticed that Trump could have taken the opportunity to denounce West and/or Fuentes in the statement, but he didn’t.
As this generated more chatter, Trump apparently thought it would be wise to publish another missive, so he published a second article a few hours after the first, explaining that he and West “got along well” during their having dinner ; the entertainer “expressed no anti-Semitism” during their meal, and the former president “appreciated” West’s kind words about him on Fox News.
The statement added: “Also, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”
None of this helped. Trump still hasn’t explained why he dined with one of the nation’s most prominent anti-Semites. Nor did he take the opportunity to denounce West, Fuentes or their disgusting hatred.
To complicate matters, Axios spoke to a source familiar with the dinner conversation and reported that ‘Trump’ seemed very taken ‘with Fuentes, impressed that the 24-year-old could churn out statistics and recall speeches. dating back to his 2016 campaign.”
This led the Republican to publish a third statement, in which Trump described West as “troubled”, for no apparent reason mentioned that the artist “just happens to be black”, and concluded by condemning “Fake News”.
For those counting, there were three statements from the 2024 nominee, none of which denounced West or Fuentes’ hate record. Given Trump’s record of anti-Semitic rhetoric, it created an indefensible set of circumstances: A former US president shared a friendly meal with two of the country’s most notorious fanatics, one of whom, among other things, called to “a homeland” for white people. people and committed to Holocaust denial.
“It’s a fucking nightmare,” a longtime Trump adviser told NBC News.
It’s a nightmare, however, that GOP officials and candidates seem eager to downplay. A small handful of Republicans offered a slight Criticisms following last week’s Mar-a-Lago dinner, but in general the former president’s party was prepared, once again, to ignore the latest scandal.
Trump left no doubt about his character. The longer the Republican Party looks the other way and stays silent, the more obvious its guilt.
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