Trump is being heavily criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for the November 22 meeting at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. But the former president said he only agreed to meet with the embattled West, and did not know the two controversial men who tagged along—anti-Trump provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
In interviews with NBC, both Yiannopoulos and Fuentes all but confirmed it was a setup designed to tarnish Trump. Yiannopoulos told NBC News he was “the architect” of the scheme to slip Fuentes into the dinner with Trump.
“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,” Yiannopoulos said, adding that he arranged the dinner “just to make Trump’s life miserable,” knowing the former president would draw fire for the get-together.
Milo Yiannopoulos was reportedly over $2 million in debt.
He also vowed “vengeance” against President Trump and called for burning the party to the ground.
Explains why he’s now leeching onto Ye. pic.twitter.com/oQpjmKr4HB
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 29, 2022
The Anti-Defamation League has described Fuentes as a “white supremacist leader and organizer.” Yiannopoulos is a onetime Breitbart editor who has claimed on Parler he “lost everything” helping Trump get elected, but says he was “betrayed” and has vowed to exact vengeance.
After the NBC report was posted, Fuentes denied he was part of a plot to make Trump look bad.
“My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news,” Fuentes said on Telegram. “I love Donald Trump.”
Trump had agreed to meet with onetime supporter Ye, whose anti-Semitic statements in several interviews have cost him lucrative business deals and his billionaire status, according to the report. But when Ye arrived at Mar-a-Lago with Yiannopoulos, Fuentes, Karen Giorno, a member of Trump’s 2016 campaign team, and a man West has described as a parent of a student that attended his now-defunct private school, the host appeared to be “walking into a trap,” the report said.
During the meal, Ye reportedly criticized Trump for not doing enough to help jailed January 6 riot participants and told Trump he might run for president against him, cheekily inviting Trump to be his running mate. Although the dinner conversation reportedly left Trump angry, West immediately went about publicizing it to his 32 million Twitter followers.
“Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes,” Ye said in a video posted to the platform.
One source close to Trump told NBC it was a stunt orchestrated to hurt Trump.
“Trump was totally blindsided,” the source said of Fuentes’ presence. “It was a setup.”
Many of Trump’s defenders reject the idea that he sympathizes with the views of the trio, but have nonetheless questioned how they were allowed to pull off what appeared to be a made-for-media ambush. Trump, who earlier this month announced a 2024 White House bid, has put in place new vetting procedures and gatekeeping efforts, NBC reported.
Trump reportedly reserved his rage over the incident for West, accusing the rap and fashion mogul of betraying him.
“He tried to f— me. He’s crazy. He can’t beat me,” Trump said, according to one confidant.