Biden condemns anti-Semitism after Ye praises Hitler’s post-Trump dinner

President Joe Biden has spoken out against anti-Semitism and took a veiled swipe at Donald Trump days after the former president had dinner with rapper Ye, who recently made a series of anti-Semitic comments, and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

“I just want to clarify some things,” Biden posted on his official Twitter account on Friday. “The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving him a platform, our political leaders should expose and reject anti-Semitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity.”

The post comes a day after the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, told right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones “I love Hitler” during an anti-Semitic rant on Jones’ InfoWars show. Ye also tweeted a swastika in a Star of David, causing Twitter to be suspended.

Trump, the presumptive frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, had dinner with Ye and Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago club last week, drawing widespread condemnation. Ye’s comments have only become more inflammatory since the meal, and Trump has yet to disown his relationship with the rapper.

“I love Jews, but I also love Nazis,” Ye told Jones on the show, also praising what he saw as Hitler’s contributions to society. Fuentes, who the Justice Department called a white supremacist last year, was also a guest on the hate show. Jones, a famous conspiracy theorist, filed for personal bankruptcy on Friday following a lawsuit won by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, which he spent nearly a decade characterizing of hoax.

Ye’s comments were offensive enough that Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee deleted a tweet they posted on Oct. 6, which read, “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” Members of the committee have been pushed back on the job for weeks after billionaire Elon Musk allowed previously banned right-wing figures, including Trump and Ye, to join Twitter.

Ye was kicked off Twitter again on Friday after posting an image of a swastika, a symbol synonymous with Nazis, inside a Star of David, an important symbol of Judaism. Twitter had suspended Ye’s account in October, before Musk’s purchase, after posting that he was “going to die with 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”. Musk announced that the company restored Ye’s account on Nov. 20 and welcomed the rapper to the platform, tweeting, “Don’t kill what you hate, save what you love.”

Ye’s net worth plummeted by hundreds of millions of dollars after Adidas announced it was ending its partnership with the rapper and Gap, Foot Locker and others said they would no longer sell his products following to his anti-Semitic tweet in October. The major Hollywood talent agency CAA also dropped him as a client. Three weeks before his “death con 3” tweet, Ye drew controversy – and praise from some conservatives – for showing off a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt at Paris Fashion Week.

The “silence is complicity” part of Biden’s tweet is an apparent criticism of Trump and other prominent Republicans. Trump has yet to condemn the men he dined with at Mar-a-Lago, and he claimed he did not know who white nationalist Fuentes was.

Republicans, including former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence, condemned Trump’s dinner. Others, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, spoke out against anti-Semitism without mentioning Trump’s rally.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is seeking to be the next Speaker of the House, said Tuesday he doesn’t think anyone should hang out with Fuentes and that he “doesn’t have his place in the Republican Party”. McCarthy added, “Well, I condemn his ideology. It has no place in society. At all.”

But most Republicans avoided criticizing the dinner. PBS News asked 57 current Republican lawmakers to condemn the meeting, and the majority did not respond. Those who spoke out against him, like McCarthy, focused their anger on Fuentes rather than Trump.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told Politico he hopes Trump convicts Fuentes “because I know [Trump’s] not an anti-Semite. I can tell you that Trump is not, but [Fuentes is] evil…just a mean, disgusting person. He’s an asshole clown, and he’s trying to legitimize himself by hanging out with a former, maybe a future president.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told Politico he would not have dinner with Fuentes. But he added: “This is a free country, [Trump] can do whatever he wants.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is seen as a likely challenger to Trump in 2024, notably remained silent on the meeting, which took place in his home state.

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