“Ye and I have come to the mutual conclusion that I should step away from his political team,” Yiannopoulos wrote on his Telegram account on Sunday. “Ye is a genius whom I have come to love and respect. We remain friends. I will continue to pray for Ye and all his endeavors.”
Yiannopoulos, whom the Anti-Defamation League describes as a “misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, transphobic troll,” was West’s informal campaign manager and among the first people the rapper brought in to what Kanye says is a legitimate campaign for president. Yiannopoulos’ stint as Kanye’s campaign manager followed his congressional internship with far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene this past summer.
Yiannopoulos recently claimed credit for setting up the now-infamous dinner meeting between Trump, West, and white supremacist and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. Yiannopoulos told NBC News he was “the architect” of the plan to have Fuentes accompany himself and West to Mar-a-Lago in the hopes that Fuentes could get into their dinner with Trump.
“I wanted to show Trump the kind of talent that he’s missing out on by allowing his terrible handlers to dictate who he can and can’t hang out with,” he told NBC News, explaining why he arranged for Trump to meet Fuentes. “I also wanted to send a message to Trump that he has systematically repeatedly neglected, ignored, abused the people who love him the most, the people who put him in office, and that kind of behavior comes back to bite you in the end.”
Yiannopoulos added that he arranged the meeting “just to make Trump’s life miserable.”
And it seemed to work. As soon as news of the dinner broke, Trump suffered backlash, including from members of his own party, for meeting with extremists like Fuentes and West. “He tried to fuck me. He’s crazy. He can’t beat me,” Trump said of West and his political ambitions, according to an NBC source.
Despite announcing his intent to run last month, West has not yet filed the paperwork for a 2024 presidential campaign. The rapper launched an official run in 2020 and earned 60,000 votes across the 12 states where he was on the ballot. This past week, West proclaimed, “I like Hitler,” and said, “We got to stop dissing the Nazis all the time,” during an appearance on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars show. West has lost lucrative business partnerships, including a deal with Adidas estimated at $1.4 billion, due to his recent antisemitism.
Trump took to Truth Social to defend himself over the dinner. He said he was just trying to “help” West because he has “been decimated in his business and virtually everything else.” West “has always been good to me,” Trump added.
The meeting was such a PR disaster Trump’s team is reportedly increasing security around the former president — including vetting everyone before he meets with them and assigning a member of his senior campaign staff to be with him at all times. They hope this will prevent him from again accidentally breaking bread with far-right extremists — or at least with the ones who aren’t on the Republican Party’s approved list.