White nationalist Nick Fuentes told Donald Trump that he was his “hero” and “one of the greatest Americans that ever lived” when he dined with him alongside Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago this week.
In a two-hour video posted to social media late Friday, Fuentes confirmed that details of the controversial Tuesday night meal reported Friday by Axios were accurate — and said he was “embarrassed” that the incident had blown up into what he called “a little bit of a scandal” for the former president.
“I don’t think he knew that I was me at the dinner,” Fuentes said with a grin.
“I said, ‘I love you,’” he added. “He really has been a hero of mine.”
But Fuentes, 24, who attended racist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and cheered the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol, said he also expressed disappointment over the moderate tone of Trump’s Nov. 15 speech announcing his plans to launch a third White House bid.
“We’ve been told for years we have to favor an incremental, quietist approach,” he railed. “You know what? Five hundred miles of 18-foot bollard fence? Not a real victory. USMCA, not a real victory … we want a real victory, a real transformation of our society.”
And Fuentes appeared to reject Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a new standard-bearer for right-wing extremists.
“We have to move forward,” he said. “A race between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis — Donald Trump, as he is running right now, about ‘the radical left’ and inflation, versus DeSantis, it just isn’t what the country needs right now. That dialectic, DeSantis and a moderate Trump, it’s a huge retreat from 2016.”
President Biden, vacationing on Nantucket, weighed in on the controversy as he shopped in the tony boutiques of the island’s Main Street.
“You don’t want to know what I think” about Trump’s tete-a-tete with West and Fuentes, Biden told reporters.
Meanwhile, Trump’s former Ambassador to Israel David Friedman condemned the Mar-a-Lago confab.
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong,” Friedman wrote on Twitter Friday.
The White House also reacted to news of Trump’s dinner date.
“Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America — including at Mar-A-Lago,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates told CNN. “Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned.”