After Kanye West's praise of Hitler, Biden declares, 'Silence is complicity'

President Biden addresses the White House Tribal Nations Summit.
President Biden at the Interior Department on Wednesday. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters) (Evelyn Hockstein / reuters)
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President Biden issued a forceful rebuke Friday of the rapper Kanye West's string of antisemitic remarks, including his praise of Adolf Hitler and his denial of the Holocaust, and criticized "political leaders" for not directly doing the same.

Biden tweeted his statement less than 24 hours after West, now known as Ye, appeared on "Infowars," the far-right, conspiracy-theory-laden program hosted by Alex Jones, and took his recent antisemitic vitriol to new lows, praising the World War II German leader who devised and carried out a plan to exterminate millions of Jews in Europe.

Later in the day, Vice President Kamala Harris echoed the president in her own tweet.

After his rambling interview with Jones on Thursday, West engaged in a back-and-forth with Elon Musk, the owner and CEO of Twitter, then tweeted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David. Musk, who has spent weeks portraying himself as a champion of free speech, promptly suspended West's account, saying the image violated the company's policy on inciting violence.

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended," Musk tweeted in a response to another Twitter user.

On Friday, an analysis published by the New York Times and conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups that study online platforms found that antisemitic posts on Twitter had jumped by more than 61% since Musk assumed ownership of the site. Tweets disparaging Black Americans and gay men have also soared in recent weeks.

West's persistent antisemitic outbursts have become a problem for members of the Republican Party who embraced him after he declared his support for former President Donald Trump.

Amid an outcry after Trump hosted West and fellow Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago home and country club on Nov. 22, the Republican House Judiciary Committee deleted a tweet that had simply read, "Kanye. Elon. Trump."

Other Republicans stepped forward to criticize Trump for hosting Fuentes, while others resorted to a round of "whataboutism," but few made mention of West specifically.

On Thursday, following West's interview with Jones, Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, became one of the first in her party to issue a formal condemnation.

Trump, meanwhile, has yet to comment on West's latest tirade.