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Over the past week, Republicans who had enthusiastically applauded the political positions taken by rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, have appeared to begin distancing themselves from the troubled entertainer because of his ongoing antisemitic outbursts.
In what may have been a breaking point for some, West appeared Thursday on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's "Infowars" show, alongside notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. But it was the rapper who made headlines for his praise of Adolf Hitler and his praise of Nazis more generally.
"Well, I see good things about Hitler also," West said during the program while wearing a knit hat pulled down over his face. "I love everyone. The Jewish people are not going to tell me, you know, you can love us and you can love what we're doing to you with the contracts and you can love what we're pushing with the pornography.
"But this guy that invented highways and invented the very microphone that I use as a musician," West added, "you can't say out loud that this person never did anything good. And I'm done with that; I'm done with the classifications, and every human being has value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler."
Hitler, of course, carried out the systematic World War II massacre of 6 million Jews, a fact that did not stop West from praising Nazi Germany.
That comment proved too much for Jones, the host who was ordered to pay nearly $1 billion in damages over his repeated assertions that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre never happened.
"Oh, man," Jones responded to West's statement professing his love of Nazis. "Well, I have to disagree with that."
Still, Jones was largely welcoming of his guests and agreed with West that "there's a Jewish mafia."
The interview also proved too much for the Republican House Judiciary Committee, which finally deleted a much-criticized tweet on Thursday that had simply read, "Kanye. Elon. Trump."
The House Judiciary Committee Republican account appear to have finally deleted the "Kanye. Elon. Trump." tweet it sent in early October. pic.twitter.com/KmmPkMh4cz
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) December 1, 2022
The Republican House Judiciary Committee, which had left its tweet up throughout a series of antisemitic remarks made over the past two months that cost West a lucrative sponsorship deal with Adidas, did not respond to a request from Yahoo News for comment.
A host of prominent Republicans have condemned both West and Fuentes since last week, when former President Donald Trump invited West to dine at his Mar-a-Lago resort even after the rapper had unleashed his antisemitic vitriol. Trump said he was surprised when the rapper showed up with Fuentes on Nov. 22. Fuentes, a notorious white supremacist, participated in the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., at which attendees chanted "Jews will not replace us."
GOP leaders critical of Trump's meeting included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the leading candidate for House speaker who shied away from taking on Trump. "Having dinner with those people was disgusting,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the party's 2012 presidential nominee.
Trump's staffers reportedly recognized the potential public relations damage dining with the two men might cause his nascent presidential campaign.
After a series of posts on his social media site, Truth Social, Trump reframed his invitation to West, who he characterized as a "seriously troubled man." However, Trump would not directly repudiate the views of either of his antisemitic dinner guests.
"So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed 'advice,'" he wrote. "He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn't know, the other a political person who I haven't seen in years. I told him don't run for office, a total waste of time, can't win. Fake News went CRAZY!"
On Monday, the right-wing podcast host Tim Pool also seemed to run up against the limits of West's rhetoric. Pool, like Jones, had invited West and Fuentes on his popular YouTube show to discuss the controversies surrounding them. (Another notable right-wing lightning rod, Milo Yiannopoulos, appeared with them.) But when the discussion turned to a discussion of whether Jews were responsible for all that had befallen the rapper, Pool drew a line.
“When I found out they were trying to put me in jail, it was like a dog was biting my arm and I almost shed a tear. Almost. But I still walked in stride through it," West said.
"I think they've been extremely unfair to you," Pool interjected.
"Who is 'they,' though?" West asked. "We can't say who 'they' is, can we?"
"Corporate press," Pool responded. "I'm not using the — I don't use the word as the way that I guess you guys use —"
"It is them, though, isn't it?" Fuentes interrupted in an apparent reference to Jews.
"No," Pool said emphatically.
"What do you mean it's not?" an incredulous West asked Pool, before standing up and walking out of the room.