Kanye West’s first extended interview since his meeting with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week lasted about 20 minutes.
The artist now known as Ye stormed out of a sit-down with the reactionary social-media performer Tim Pool, after the host lightly pushed back on Ye’s meandering, paranoid, and yet largely uninterrupted antisemitic rant that opened the show.
During that 20-minute stretch, West offered a sprawling, aggrieved commentary railing against those he believes had harmed him, including but not limited to: a designer at Adidas who Ye is convinced was a CIA and somehow also a “Zionist” plant; Jamie Dimon; Hollywood executives; the Gap; his former trainer and also, in Ye’s mind a Canadian deep-state agent; and, of course, the fictional Jewish cabal in charge of both banking and media. “It was like American History X, like my head was on the side of the curb, and the exact people that I called out kick my head,” said Ye. The rapper also appeared to back Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who similarly posted antisemitic material, and talked about the true “bloodlines” of Black people.
“Rahm Emanuel was right next to Obama, and then Jared Kushner was right next to Trump,” Ye added, ending with a “da-da!” musical flourish to punctuate his antisemitic talking point about Jews being puppet masters.
During a brief pause in his near-monologue, Pool told Ye, “I think they’ve been extremely unfair to you.” When asked by Ye to clarify who he meant by “they,” Pool replied: “The corporate press.” That didn’t satisfy Ye. “Who is ‘they,’ though?” he shot back. As Pool stammered, one of the evening’s other guests chimed in: Nick Fuentes, the 23-year-old white nationalist and Holocaust denier, who had taken on an undefined role in Ye’s largely theoretical 2024 presidential campaign. “It is them, though, isn’t it?” Fuentes said, again referring to Jewish people.
Evidently, because Pool refused to play into one of the oldest antisemitic tropes around, Ye considered it a bridge too far. Before Pool could get another word in edgewise, West rose from out of his chair and silently marched out of the studio.
Fuentes left as well, as did the evening’s third guest, Milo Yiannopoulos, the far-right troll and former Breitbart tech editor who was drummed out of the conservative movement in 2016 for his seemingly blithe attitude towards relations between adult males and minors.
Like Fuentes, Yiannopoulos also joined Ye’s campaign team in some capacity. Earlier in the show, he’d praised Fuentes to the hilt, calling the Charlottesville marcher, “Stop the Steal” pusher, and pro-Hitler pundit the “most extraordinary, brilliant political commentator of his generation.” Yiannopolous at times has claimed Jewish lineage himself, but that self-identification has apparently been dropped after he tumbled farther to the fringes of the conservative media ecosystem, along with an insistence that he’d cured himself of his homosexuality and posted threats about harming another far-right personality’s dog. Yiannopoulos did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
In between Ye’s rambling, the trio did provide some new information. The meal with Trump originally was scheduled to take place in October, but the former president postponed it after announcing his own 2024 run. During that same time period, Ye was involved in a series of bizarre public appearances and began making more explicitly antisemitic statements, including a tweeted promise to go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE,” and blaming the “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for his troubles. Though it didn’t make the final cut, he also implied during an interview with Tucker Carlson that fictional children were being placed in his home.
Whether those incidents gave Trump reason to delay their meeting, West didn’t say. He brought Fuentes along with him because, “He was rolling with me,” said Ye. “I was impressed with Nick. And I was like, just come to the dinner.” Yiannopoulos was also in favor of Fuentes’ presence at the meal. “He's been treated just about as badly as anybody,” he said. “So I thought he deserved to be in the room too.”
Pool made his name in conservative media by bringing in similarly far-right figures and whitewashing their extremist beliefs before an audience of millions, as The Daily Beast previously reported. As recently as last week, Pool hosted a pundit affiliated with the hard-right Groyper movement, which Fuentes ostensibly leads. At no point during their conversation did he mention his guest’s prior extreme rhetoric, and at times he seemed to agree with him. On Monday night, some of Pool’s viewers on YouTube shared their own antisemitic beliefs.
Though Pool pushed back more on Monday than he normally does—and after Ye and his campaign staff walked out in a huff, Pool did forcefully denounce antisemitism on air—he still tried to find common ground. “Nick, they call you a white supremacist,” he said, addressing Fuentes. But “you're here working with or for, you know, one of the most powerful Black men.” (Pool did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.)
Apparently the tweeted announcement Pool made earlier Monday about Ye, Yiannopoulos, and Fuentes’ appearance had spurred some of Pool’s “good conservative friends,” as he put it, to reach out, telling him that giving unreconstructed bigots a platform as big as his was a mistake. “Tim, don't have these people on. They’re bad people,” Pool claimed he was told.
From Pool’s point of view, though, the show served its purpose, partly because the trio refused to engage in a lengthy debate and unpack their beliefs for the scheduled two-hour broadcast.
“I think you should all invite them on,” Pool insisted. “I think if anything is bad for their ideas, it's exactly what just happened.”