Leading Republicans in the US Congress have deleted a tweet that seemingly expressed support for Ye, a rapper formerly known as Kanye West, after he praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Since October a Twitter account run by Republicans on the House of Representatives’ judiciary committee has contained a cryptic post that said: “Kanye. Elon. Trump” – apparently claiming Ye, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and former president Donald Trump as their own.
A day after the tweet was issued, Ye, who is Black, issued post on Instagram – since deleted – in which he said he would go “death con 3” on Jewish people. He went on to make antisemitic remarks in interviews and dine with Trump and white supremacist Nick Fuentes at the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
Still the short Republican tweet remained up. In the end, it took a diatribe from Ye that expressed admiration for Hitler and earned widespread opprobrium for it to be quietly removed.
Shielded behind a face mask, Ye appeared alongside Fuentes on InfoWars, a show hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, known for pushing lies around events such as the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
The rapper said: “I see good things about Hitler… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
Even Jones, outflanked on his right for perhaps the first time, looked uncomfortable and said: “The Nazis were thugs.” Ye insisted: “But they did good things too. We gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time.”
Later he added: “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis.”
Jones tried to give Ye an opportunity to back down but he remained adamant: “There’s a lot of things that I love about Hitler. A lot of things.”
The comments could hardly have come at a worse time for Trump, whose recent dinner with Ye and Fuentes cast a shadow over his latest campaign to win the White House. Long criticised for giving succour to white nationalism, the former president has stated that he did not know Fuentes or his views but has not apologised for hosting Ye.
Ye’s outburst also suggested that Republicans’ effort to align themselves with one of the world’s most popular musicians in a bid to woo young and Black voters has backfired.
Norm Coleman and Matt Brooks, leaders of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in a statement: “We vehemently condemn those comments and call on all political leaders to reject these messengers of hate and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.
“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. Conservatives who have mistakenly indulged Kanye West must make it clear that he is a pariah. Enough is enough.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: “Saying you “like Hitler,” “love the Nazis,” and spending all your time with a white supremacist makes one thing clear: Ye is a vicious antisemite. His comments today on InfoWars are not just vile and offensive: they put Jews in danger.”
Ye has lost lucrative deals with companies such as Gap and Adidas in recent months. On Thursday it was announced that Ye’s deal to buy Parler, a conservative social media app, had also been called off.