Trump defends Kanye West in the wake of his own scorning of American Jews

By Adam Kovac, The Forward

Days after his own derogatory tweet about American Jews, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday came to the defense of rapper Kanye West, whose recent antisemitic screeds have been widely denounced.

During an appearance on the conservative Salem News Channel, Trump said he “hadn’t really seen” the rapper’s recent statements but that he had watched West’s interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, which aired on Oct. 6 and 7. In the interviews, West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2018, promotes age-old antisemitic tropes about Jews.

Trump on Salem News said West thinks highly of him and is often misinterpreted.

“He was really nice to me, beyond anybody. He was great to me and he was great to the MAGA movement which was really impressive,” Trump continued.

Trump said West often “will make a statement and a lot of people will think it’s worse than he means it to be.”

“He was really high on a guy named Donald Trump,” Trump added.

West’s antisemitic remarks have sparked outrage, with public officials, celebrities and fans of his music calling him out. Trump too has been widely condemned for disparaging American Jews, who he wrote are not appreciative of his support for Israel — he warns them to”get their act together.” One notable exception is the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has not commented on Trump’s remarks.

West’s anti-Jewish diatribes

In his two-part interview with Carlson, West railed against abortion, derided former President Bill Clinton and spread misinformation about the death of George Floyd. VICE News later acquired unaired portions of the interview in which West said Planned Parenthood was founded to “control the Jew population,” which he interpreted to be “the 12 lost tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ, who the people known as the race Black really are.”

In the days after the interview aired, West doubled down on his attacks on Jews — on Twitter, podcasts and YouTube — accusing them of controlling the media and bilking Blacks. On Twitter he wrote he was going “death con 3” against Jewish people.