Former President Donald Trump will meet with an Orthodox Jewish educational group on Friday following heavy criticism of dinner with Ye – formerly known as Kanye West – and Nick Fuentes and repeated anti-Semitic remarks.
Mr. Trump, who announced another presidential run last month, dined with Ye and white supremacist Mr. Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago during Thanksgiving week.
Mr. Trump’s decision to host the two men was swiftly condemned by a range of observers, including longtime allies in the Jewish community. Mr Trump said he did not know who Mr Fuentes was, but refused to apologize for hosting the couple and instead attacked Jewish leaders for being insufficiently loyal to him.
The former president also defended Ye, who praised Adolf Hitler during an appearance on Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.
“You can’t say out loud that this person has already done something good and I’m done with it,” Ye said on the show. “I’m done with rankings. Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.
Today, Friday, Mr. Trump will deliver a speech to the Presidential Torah Umesorah Conference at his golf club in Miami. The speech will be part of a day-long rally hosted by the organization that promotes religious education and Jewish day schools.
Mr. Trump has maintained close ties to the Orthodox Jewish community, which is significantly more conservative than the left-leaning American Jewish community as a whole. He has also had strong ties with right-wing politicians in Israel, although new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Mr Trump to apologize for hosting Ye and Fuentes.
“On this issue, on Kanye West and this other unacceptable guest, I think it’s not just unacceptable, it’s just wrong,” Netanyahu said on Meet the press. “And I hope he finds a way to stay out of it and condemn it.”
But Mr. Trump has long doctored anti-Semitic tropes, including accusing American Jews of disloyalty to the United States and complaining that they have not been grateful enough to him for his support of Israeli nationalism. Cases of anti-Semitism have risen dramatically in the United States since Mr Trump was elected president in 2016.
His once close relationship with Mr Netanyahu appears to have soured since Mr Trump left the White House, with Axios reporting that Mr Trump lashed out at the far-right Israeli leader after he congratulated President Joe Biden on his election victory.
“I haven’t spoken to him since,” Mr. Trump reportedly said of Mr. Netanyahu. “F*** him.”