(The Hill) – Former President Donald Trump on Saturday said Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, is a “seriously troubled man” who he was trying to help, but also blamed the controversial musician for a dinner in which Trump says Ye brought along a known white supremacist.
Trump said on Truth Social that Ye brought far-right activist Nick Fuentes to the dinner on Tuesday night and that he did not know who Fuentes was.
“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,” Trump wrote, “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 shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years,” the former president added. “I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went CRAZY!”
The New York Times and Axios both reported last week that Trump dined on Tuesday night with Fuentes and Ye at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Fuentes has made widely condemned racist comments and has denied the Holocaust, while several companies have cut ties with Ye after he made antisemitic comments last month.
Adidas, one of the businesses to end its partnership with Ye, is also investigating the rapper for alleged misconduct while he worked with members of a team selling Yeezy products.
Trump received backlash over the weekend for the meeting, including from members of his own party.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that it was “very troubling” for Trump to meet with Fuentes.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for a leader that’s setting an example for the country or the party to meet with [an] avowed racist or antisemite,” Hutchinson said.
At the dinner, Ye reportedly asked Trump to be his running mate in 2024. The former president has already launched his White House bid.
The rapper claimed in a video shared online that Trump “started basically screaming at me at the table telling me I was gonna lose.” Ye also said Trump was “really impressed with Nick Fuentes.”
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On Friday, after reports circulated about the dinner, Trump released a series of statements defending the meeting.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.