WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden forcefully condemned Holocaust denialism and antisemitism, days after his predecessor Donald Trump hosted Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes alongside avowed antisemite Kanye West at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity,” Biden tweeted from his official account.
Biden’s condemnation comes shortly after Trump pushed back at allegations of racism and antisemitism, telling Fox News that “there’s nobody that has proven to be more of a friend of Israel” than him.
Trump’s defense, and repeated refusal to disavow West and Fuentes, came as part of an attack on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who condemned his recent dinner alongside an increasing number of Republican lawmakers, though few have been reticent to condemn Trump himself.
The criticism only ratcheted up in the past 24 hours, after West appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars show, during which he praised Hitler and the Nazis. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said “it is alarming that such vile rhetoric is given a platform and legitimized” and warned it could lead to violence.
“Given his praise of Hitler, it can’t be overstated that Kanye West is a vile, repellent bigot who has targeted the Jewish community with threats and Nazi-style defamation,” the Republican Jewish Coalition said in its own statement, adding that “conservatives who have mistakenly indulged Kanye West must make it clear that he is a pariah. Enough is enough.”
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The RJC comment reflects growing unease among Trump’s Jewish Republican supporters, who had previously defended him over the past decade against allegations of antisemitism thanks to his record on Israel. Unlike previous instances, however, these supporters have an exit ramp in sight with potential 2024 presidential candidates mulling challenging Trump.
The House Judiciary Republicans’ Twitter account, meanwhile, finally deleted its October tweet reading “Kanye. Elon. Trump,” months after West first began publicly promoting his antisemitic threats and conspiracy theories on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show.
West’s Twitter account was suspended Thursday after he tweeted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David, days after the Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism advisory bulletin raising concerns about “enduring threats” to Jews, as well as LGBTQ and migrant communities, from violent extremists inside the U.S.
“Certainly the Jewish community seems particularly targeted in recent days by that kind of activity in our discourse,” a senior DHS official told NBC News when asked if West’s remarks contributed to increased threats to the Jewish community.