'They should be ashamed of themselves'

Trump berates disloyal US ‘Jewish leaders,’ ignoring calls to condemn Kanye, Fuentes

Ex-president shares conspiracy theorist’s article hailing steps he took for Israel while in White House, says Jewish leaders’ ‘lack of loyalty’ costing Israel congressional support

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Then-US president Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (SEBASTIAN SMITH / AFP)
Then-US president Donald Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (SEBASTIAN SMITH / AFP)

Former US president Donald Trump on Friday tore into “Jewish leaders” who he claims have forgotten the steps he took for Israel while in the White House, amid growing calls for him to condemn antisemites Nick Fuentes and Kanye West after hosting the pair at his Mar-a-Lago resort last month.

Trump shared a blog post on his Truth Social platform from far-right pundit and conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root who wrote that the former president “did more for the state of Israel and the Jewish people than anyone in history.”

Root rejected the criticism of Trump for dining with West and Fuentes, calling the former “mentally disturbed” and the latter a “stranger” who the ex-president had no idea would be coming to the Mar-a-Lago dinner with the disgraced rapper.

Root has peddled various conspiracy theories, including that former president Barack Obama was not born in the US, that Hillary Clinton was involved in the murder of a Democratic Party staffer, and that the woman fatally run over by a far-right activist at the 2017 Unite the Right rally of neo-Nazis was a paid actor.

In addition to sharing his article, Trump wrote, “Thank you Wayne – You are great but how quickly Jewish leaders forgot that I was the best, by far, president for Israel.”

“They should be ashamed of themselves. This lack of loyalty to their greatest friends and allies is why large numbers in Congress, and so many others, have stopped giving support to Israel,” he added.

Former US president Donald Trump speaks virtually at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 19, 2022. (Photo by Wade Vandervort / AFP)

Trump has long responded to accusations of antisemitism or criticism of his association with various antisemitic figures by pointing to his Israel record. He has also frequently referred to Israel as “your country” in speeches to American Jewish groups. He has also repeatedly lamented what he sees as lack of gratitude from US Jews, who continue to vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

Trump’s November 29 dinner with West and Fuentes was leaked to the press a day later and led to a flood of condemnations from Democratic lawmakers, Jewish groups, some Republican lawmakers and several former Jewish aides of the ex-president.

Trump defended the dinner, saying Kanye had come to ask for business advice and hadn’t said anything antisemitic, though a month earlier the rapper tweeted that he planned to “go death con 3” on Jewish people. Trump also claimed he had no idea who Fuentes, an outspoken Holocaust denier, was and that Kanye brought him along without warning. Kanye claimed afterward that Trump had been “really impressed” by Fuentes, a white supremacist who routinely rails against Jews on his podcast.

While Jewish leaders and other Republicans close to Trump have implored the president to condemn West and Fuentes, he has refrained from doing so, ostensibly due to fear that he’ll lose the backing of some of his supporters who agree with Fuentes and West.

Nick Fuentes, far-right activist, holds a rally at the Lansing Capitol, in Lansing, Michigan, November 11, 2020. (Nicole Hester/ Ann Arbor News via AP)

West made additional headlines days after the dinner, giving an unhinged interview on Infowars in which he professed to love Hitler and the Nazis.

Rolling Stone reported Wednesday that a group of prominent Trump supporters and pro-Israel donors have reached out to Trump’s son-in-law and former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, seeking his help in getting an audience with the former president only to have “their messages left unreturned.”

Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox Business host and former Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Wednesday that she wished Kushner and his wife Ivanka would speak out on the matter as well, noting their Jewishness and the fact that they benefited financially from their time serving in the administration.

“It’d be nice for them to weigh in when you and I are expected to” she added. “So let me just say that because no one else will.”

“I don’t understand what our former boss is doing,” Kudlow said on the same program. “Why hasn’t he apologized for it or corrected the record or something?… He’s got to make a statement.”

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