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Reporting the Truth.
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Who is Trump and Kanye’s Dinner Companion, Nick Fuentes?

By Paul O'Donnell and Jack Jenkins
Nick Fuentes in a still from his America First livestream. (Video screen grab)

When supporters of former President Donald Trump rallied near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, a boisterous pocket of young men waving “America First” flags broke into a chant: “Christ is King!”

It was one of the first indications that Christian nationalism would be a theme of the Capitol attack later that day, where insurrectionists prayed and waved banners that read “Proud American Christian.”

The chant also announced the presence of followers of Nick Fuentes, the 24-year-old white supremacist and Christian nationalist leader who dined Tuesday evening with Trump and the rapper Ye, also known as Kanye West, at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s home and resort in Florida.

Fuentes’ appearance at Trump’s table has brought criticism for the former president, who had only a week before formally launched a new campaign for the White House. The dinner apparently caused embarrassment in the Trump camp: Hours after reportedly saying that Fuentes “gets me,” Trump now claims he didn’t know who Fuentes was.

Fuentes’ notoriety has been growing since the then-18-year-old Boston University student attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis and other white supremacists marched to protest the removal of Confederate statues from the city’s public spaces. At the time, Trump said there were “good people on both sides” of the clashes that followed, in which a counterprotester was killed.

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Fuentes claimed that he had received death threats on his return to Boston, and he left college to begin a media career as the host of “America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes,” a livestreamed TV show that often echoed Trump’s anti-immigrant fulminations. 

nick fuentes
Nick Fuentes, right-wing media personality, center, speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump during a pro-Trump march on Nov. 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

But while Trump sees the “America First” movement largely in terms of protecting U.S. trade and guarding the nation’s borders, Fuentes explicitly calls for the preservation of European American power. A Catholic, Fuentes has celebrated the idea of “Catholic Taliban rule” and, in March of 2021, told an audience at his America First conference that the United States, which he called “a Christian nation,” will cease to be America “if it loses its white demographic core and if it loses its faith in Jesus Christ.”

Fuentes has also denied the Holocaust on his America First livestream and has said that, as non-Christians, Jews have no place in Western civilization. West, who recently lost a licensing contract with Adidas after he issued an antisemitic tweet, was said to have brought Fuentes along to Mar-a-Lago as a consultant to his own as-yet-unannounced White House bid.

Though Fuentes was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack, and a person carrying an America First flag was spotted in the Senate Chamber during the insurrection, there is no evidence Fuentes entered the Capitol himself on Jan. 6. But Fuentes’ channeling of religious fervor in the name of right-wing extremism has played no small part in keeping Christian nationalist ideology alive in the aftermath of the insurrection.

Throughout the pandemic, Fuentes and his supporters, known as Groypers, were one faction in a large and amorphous network of anti-vaccine protesters and anti-abortion demonstrators. At 2022’s March for Life on the National Mall, a cohort of Groypers held crucifixes aloft.

Through his America First conferences, Fuentes has distinguished himself by luring establishment figures, including elected officials, to his cause. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the keynote speaker at Fuentes’ America First 2021 conference, tweeted “Christ is King” the same day the congressman posted a widely condemned animated video that depicted him killing New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke in February at this year’s conference. “My name is Marjorie Taylor Greene, I am the daughter of the king, the one true living God, the Alpha and Omega, our Father in heaven, and I am a forgiven sinner, washed in the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ,” she said in her remarks before the group.

When attendees began chanting “Christ is king,” she responded, “Amen — Christ is king.”

Both Gosar and Greene have since distanced themselves from Fuentes and his group. Now it is Trump’s turn to deflect an association with the right-wing media personality.

The backstory behind Fuentes’ trip to Mar-a-Lago remains unclear, but the visit reportedly included efforts to maintain alignment between America Firsters and the former president. Fuentes publicly blasted Trump’s recent campaign announcement speech, calling it an “awful … abject, absolute failure” and declaring he was “reevaluating” his support for the business tycoon. According to Axios, Fuentes disliked what he characterized as the former president’s more cautious approach to politics and told Trump as much when they dined together last week.



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10 Responses

  1. So many people with Christian backgrounds wrapped up in anger, hatred, and personal pride. For those who want to follow Jesus, remember that our culture will lure you into just about any “area of interest” of your choice and then proceed to rob you of every fruit of the spirit you once had and you’ll never see it happening. As it is reasonable, stay away or be very wary of our current culture. It is out to completely take your focus off of Jesus. It is VERY effective at this; you are not smarter than your enemy. He’s been at this a long time. Hold tight to Jesus’ hand, your soul’s life depends on it.

  2. Whatever version of Christianity Fuentes is endorsing is a bastardized version like many others in his camp.

    1. Likely so George…but I humbly urge followers of Christ to ask Him to help us love men like him…and not allow our hearts to be affected by the same spirit that is misguiding him. This spirit of hatred is so prominent in our country right now, even among many Christians who attend church. Jesus loves Nick Fuentes and we must as well.

      1. With all due respect Mark, something about your lecture just doesn’t ring true.
        Jesus used no namby pamby speechifying when he encountered evil, and fascism is most certainly evil not just an alternative political view.

      2. I didn’t call anyone to hate Nick Fuentes however after exercising some Christian discernment it becomes necessary to conclude with conviction that his anti-antisemitism (Among many other things) is just plain wrong.

        Due to his social media presence he’s leading many down the wrong path and he needs to be called out for this.

        1. Agreed. Christian nationalism is extremely harmful to a person’s spiritual life along with so many other non-biblical groups and movements. It can be so hard for a person to love as Christ asks us to while at the same time seeing the hatred and confusion these groups encourage. I know this personally of course as I notice myself beginning to feel anger when I read about movements such as these. I’m glad that Julie is highlighting this group and many others.

  3. Fuentes has many videos on YouTube. If you want to get a complete picture of who this young man is I recommend you do a search and let him tell you who he is. I listened to him for a time and he actually said he would like to take society back to the Middle Ages. If you watch his face carefully you can see his smirk. Afterwards I had the sense that he is saying much of this to own the libs and more importantly to indoctrinate ignorant young men and stir up violence. His mannerisms speak volumes about who he really is, most probably a women hater.

  4. This makes me wonder.

    If we Christians on the Right have to partner with known anti Semites, racists, violent militias and the politically corrupt in order to bring about God’s will in America, are we really doing God’s will?

  5. Greg: “… order to bring about God’s will in America.” What? Since when did Christians on the Right became God’s agents to accomplish His will in America?

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