Trump's team has claimed that the rapper Ye tricked him by bringing a well-known white supremacist to Mar-a-Lago.
"Kanye punked Trump," one Trump adviser told NBC News of the dinner with Nick Fuentes.
Trump has been widely criticized after he dined with Ye and Fuentes last week.
Former President Donald Trump and some of his advisers have claimed that Kanye West, the rapper now known as Ye, tricked the former president into hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner at Mar-a-Lago a week ago, according to a Tuesday NBC News report.
Sources close to Trump said Ye, who's recently made anti-Semitic comments and announced a 2024 presidential bid, helped stage the meeting to subject the ex-president to criticism shortly after he launched his own 2024 run.
The Trump campaign is now reviewing their processes to prevent someone like Fuentes from getting near Trump again, sources with knowledge of the discussions told NBC News. Trump himself was reportedly furious, suggesting that Ye had ambushed him.
"He tried to f--- me. He's crazy. He can't beat me," Trump said, an unnamed confidant told NBC News.
"Trump was totally blindsided," that source added. "It was a setup."
"The master troll got trolled," one Trump adviser, who spoke anonymously, told NBC News. "Kanye punked Trump."
Since news of the November 22 meeting broke, prominent lawmakers in both major parties have condemned Trump for meeting with Fuentes, a well-known figure in white nationalist and anti-Semitic circles. Trump has defended himself against the attacks, claiming that he hadn't known who Fuentes was and did not invite him to Mar-a-Lago, but that Ye had brought him along.
NBC News reported that Ye showed up to Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes, Karen Giorno, a former Trump 2016 adviser, and a man Ye identified as a parent of a student at Donda Academy, the California private school he founded, which has closed for the school year after the rapper's recent anti-Semitic comments.
Upon their arrival, Giorno, who told NBC News that she accidentally became part of Ye's entourage after she drove him to Mar-a-Lago, said she tried to have Ye meet with Trump alone. But Trump, according to NBC News, had deferred to Ye, who insisted the whole group dine together.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right commentator who's publicly criticized Trump, told NBC News that he had been the mastermind behind the meeting and arranged it "just to make Trump's life miserable." Yiannopoulos is working as a political adviser to Ye, NBC News reported.
Some of Trump's allies had warned him not to even meet with Ye, but Trump dismissed their advice, the outlet reported. One Trump adviser told NBC News that the former president said Ye's attendance at Mar-a-Lago "would be fun for the members."
A few Republicans have stood by Trump amid the backlash. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday denounced Fuentes, but repeated Trump's defense that the former president didn't know who the young man was.
Spokespeople for Trump and Ye did not immediately return Insider's requests for comment.
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