Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said that former President Donald Trump’s team is making significant changes to his Mar-a-Lago’s vetting process following his meeting with rapper Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.
Greene told reporters Tuesday that “Trump had no idea [Fuentes] was even coming” and described the incident as “unfortunate.” Over the weekend, Trump confirmed on Truth Social that West, also known as Ye, and Fuentes met with him at his Florida resort.
Following last week’s dinner, Trump is now making “big changes over who can come in and the vetting process, which I think is smart,” Greene said, according to The Hill. “Any former president should have that in place.”
Greene told reporters that she spoke with the former president and talked to his staff about the incident and changes to the vetting process. Alleged anonymous sources within Trump’s campaign also told The Associated Press that his team is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are fully vetted and approved.
A Trump spokesperson has not returned an Epoch Times request comment. Neither Trump nor his campaign have publicly commented on Greene’s statement to reporters Tuesday.
While news outlets and the Department of Justice have described (pdf) Fuentes as a “white nationalist,” he’s denied that label. In a statement, Fuentes said Sunday that “I reject all labels other than Christian American.”
Earlier this year, Greene appeared at a Fuentes event and spoke, although she later distanced herself from Fuentes. When speaking to reporters, the Georgia Republican said that she doesn’t regret her message to those in the audience.
“I don’t regret talking to the kids that were there because I don’t understand why they follow him. But would I have gone to his event? No,” Greene said Tuesday, adding, “I don’t want to have anything to do with him.” Greene then wondered who is funding Fuentes and whether West is paying him.
Over the weekend, Trump explained that he wanted to “help” West, whom he described as “a seriously troubled man,” coming more than a week after he announced he’s embarking on a third bid for the White House in 2024.
Amid a surge of reports and critical statements made by Republicans, Trump added Saturday that “Fake News went CRAZY!” over the meeting. On Tuesday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both denounced Fuentes and West during an event with reporters.
“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed ‘advice,’” Trump wrote on Saturday.
West showed up at his resort “with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years. I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win,” Trump’s post said. He added that “our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
During an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Trump stated again that he had “never heard of” Fuentes. “I had no idea what his views were and they weren’t expressed at the table in our very quick dinner, or it wouldn’t have been accepted,” he added.
Since then, the former president has not commented on subsequent reports about the meeting, including anonymously sourced articles alleging that former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was seeking revenge against Trump.
Meanwhile, Fuentes went on his Telegram channel to dispute allegations in reports this week that he was trying to politically damage Trump by showing up to the Mar-a-Lago dinner.
“My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news. I love Donald Trump,” Fuentes wrote Wednesday in a post. “The Trump Dinner was not a ‘set-up,’ and I never said it was. This is a conspiracy theory fabricated by Con Inc and I never ‘echoed’ that sentiment at all,” he also said.
Earlier this month, West released a video saying he would run for president in 2024. It’s not clear, however, if the rapper and fashion designer filed paperwork to do so.
On Monday, West, Fuentes, and Yiannopolous appeared on YouTube host Tim Pool’s show. West stated that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) closed several of his bank accounts due to tax issues after Adidas and other companies severed ties with him over public remarks he made about Jews.
At one point, when West was questioned about those remarks, he left the interview and was followed by Fuentes and Yiannopolous.