Trump dined with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at Mar-a-Lago.
In a statement to Axios, Trump denied knowing who Fuentes was or what his views were.
Fuentes is well known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and other bigoted views.
Former President Donald Trump hosted notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported on Friday.
Kanye West, now known as Ye, brought Fuentes as his guest to the former president's Florida mansion, where Ye said he discussed teaming up on the 2024 presidential ticket.
"Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about," Trump said in a statement to Axios. The meeting was confirmed by Politico and the New York Times.
In a post on Truth Social, the social-media platform that Trump launched last year, the former president said that Ye had "unexpectedly" arrived for a planned dinner with three of his friends, "whom I knew nothing about." The ex-president, who announced his 2024 presidential bid earlier this month, said nothing disavowing Fuentes' views in his statement.
The other attendee was Karen Giorno, Trump's Florida state director in 2016, who also confirmed Fuentes' attendance, the New York Times reported.
A spokesperson for Trump didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Axios reported that Trump appeared impressed by Fuentes, citing an unnamed source. At one point during their visit, Trump told Ye, "I really like this guy. He gets me," the source told Axios.
Fuentes is well known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and other bigoted views. The 24-year-old activist participated in the 2017 white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, during which a neo-Nazi killed a counter-protester and injured 35 others. The Justice Department has characterized Fuentes as a "white supremacist" and the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group, has labeled him a "well-known white supremacist pundit and organizer."
Trump was widely criticized in 2017 for claiming there were "very fine people" among the white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville. He was also condemned for not rejecting an endorsement in 2016 by David Duke, a well-known white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. During a presidential debate against Joe Biden in 2020, Trump told the far-right extremist Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" when asked to denounce them.
As of Friday afternoon, Fuentes has not addressed the visit to Mar-a-Lago on any of the social platforms that continue to host him.
Ye, who has said he plans to run for president in 2024, tweeted a video labeled "Mar-a-Lago debrief" on Thursday, in which he's speaking to Milo Yiannopoulos, a disgraced "alt-right" activist who appears to now be working on his campaign. Ye said that Trump was perturbed and caught off guard by Ye's suggestion that Trump sign on to be Ye's running mate, but that he was "really impressed" with Fuentes.
"Unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he's actually a loyalist," Ye said of Fuentes' support for Trump.
Ye, who has yet to file the necessary paperwork to become a presidential candidate, was until recently blocked from using Twitter after he made multiple anti-Semitic remarks, including saying he "was going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Ye has also lost many of his business partnerships, and Adidas is investigating allegations that Ye behaved inappropriately with employees during their Yeezy partnership.
Yiannopoulos resigned from the conservative media site Breitbart in 2017 after making comments appearing to condone pedophilia. He's made a slew of other noxious statements, including calling Islam and feminism "cancers" and calls himself an "ex-gay."
Reports about the meeting between Trump, Ye, and Fuentes surfaced on Wednesday, when Ye and Fuentes were seen walking through an airport together. Politico and The Daily Beast reported that Fuentes and Ye were seen together at Mar-a-Lago.
This isn't the first time a prominent Republican has met with Fuentes and later claimed not to know anything about his bigoted and dangerous views. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican from Georgia, spoke at an event organized by Fuentes in February and later told reporters she didn't know Fuentes and wasn't familiar with his views.
Greene also hired Yiannopoulos as an intern in her congressional office earlier this year.
This story has been updated.
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