Amid a historic uptick in antisemitism in the United States, Pres. Joe Biden tweeted an unequivocal rejection of hate speech and admiration for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday morning (Dec. 2), less than a day after Kanye West repeatedly told conspiracist Alex Jones: “I like Hitler,” while praising the Nazi regime on Jones’ Infowars talk show.
“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure,” Biden tweeted in the statement that did not mention West by name. “And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity.”
The strongly worded statement from Biden also starkly contrasted with the scene last week at Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago resort, where the former one-term president hosted Ye (as Kanye West is now known) as well as far right activist and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who is known for spewing antisemitic rhetoric. Also present at the lunch that Trump hosted on the high-visibility patio at his golf club was Ye’s apparent 2024 presidential campaign manager and professional right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been blocked from most major social media platforms for his repeated slurs against Islam and feminism and his embrace of antisemitic figures.
In an attempt to tamp down the fierce backlash for the lunch from figures on both sides of the aisle, Trump released a series of statements on his right-wing Truth social platform claiming he “never met and knew nothing about” Fuentes before he was ushered into the club as part of Ye’s entourage despite reportedly not being on the guest list that day.
In contrast to Biden’s full-throated disavowal of antisemitic speech and Nazi fetishizing, Trump has repeatedly equivocated when it comes to condemning hate speech, including failing to denounce the Ku Klux Klan when he was endorsed by its former leader in 2016 and famously blaming “both sides” during the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist protest in Charlottesville in 2017. The lunch came a week after Trump launch his third bid for the White House.
West has been on a month-long media tour that has found the rapper repeatedly spewing hateful rhetoric aimed at the Jewish people that has led to rapid downfall of his once-formidable fashion and music empire, as well as yet another ban from Twitter on Thursday when he posted an image of a swastika.
Check out Biden’s tweet below.