“We had a very interesting dinner, which I’m sure you’ve all read about,” Fuentes said Friday on his podcast about the get-together Tuesday with his pal Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and Trump.
Fuentes’ podcast was introduced on YouTube by Ye, whose antisemitic messages were blocked on Twitter earlier this year.
“I have to say about the events of the last week, I’m a little bit embarrassed in a certain sense because, you know, this has become a little bit of a scandal for President Trump,” Fuentes said.
Fuentes said he told Trump at the dinner: “Mr. President, you are one of the greatest Americans that has ever lived ... I love you. I supported you all these years.”
Trump “really has been a hero of mine,” Fuentes added on the podcast. But he also indicated Trump — whom he referred to as a “moderate” — has to step it up if he has any hope of winning the presidency in 2024.
Ye was the first to reveal the controversial dinner in a video he posted to Twitter. He said Trump was “very impressed” with Fuentes. Trump praised Fuentes at the dinner, sources told The New York Times and Axios. “He gets me,” the former president said, according to the Times.
After media reports surfaced, Trump confirmed the dinner, but claimed he had no idea who Fuentes was. He also emphasized that Ye said nothing antisemitic as the men dined.
Fuentes also hedged on his podcast about Trump knowing him.
“I don’t think he knew that I was me at the dinner” — at least initially, Fuentes said with a laugh. “Let’s put it that way. I don’t know if I’m gonna say he didn’t know me. I’m not sure about that.”
The fourth member of the dinner party, Karen Giorno — a veteran political operative who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign — confirmed to Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post that Trump “was impressed with Nick and his knowledge of Trump World.” But the president didn’t “initially seem to know” who he was, Giorno said.
Giorno said Trump wanted to talk about 2024 and his “base” of supporters, while Fuentes repeatedly told him that he was “better when he was fiery and off the cuff.” At some point the discussion became “heated,” she said.
Fuentes is a high-profile right-wing extremist supported by key allies of Trump, like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). Both lawmakers spoke at a white supremacist conference organized by Fuentes early this year. That triggered heated controversy, which was widely and prominently covered by the media.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to Josh Hawley of The Washington Post. The Post reporter is Josh Dawsey; Hawley is a senator from Missouri.