For some Republican figures, the Kanye West love affair has already proved ill-advised.
He was boosted to right wing stardom — an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and hours of adulatory coverage on the network, admiring tweets from the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee — late last week, seemingly for wearing a “white lives matter” shirt and dressing Black models in the same at his fashion event in Paris.
Days later, West — who recently changed his name to “Ye” — tweeted antisemitic statements so vile that he was locked out of his account.
He had tweeted early Sunday: “When I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
He was suspended from Instagram two days earlier after posting screenshots of a conversation with rapper Sean Love Combs, aka Diddy, where West accused him of being controlled by Jewish people.
For some on the right, it was more than they bargained for.
From Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Sunday evening: “The constant hypocrisy from the media is at an all-time high. They have now gone after Kanye for his new fashion line, his independent thinking, & for having opposing thoughts from the norm of Hollywood.”
Just a few hours later: “My post was specifically and clearly aimed at the hypocrisy of the media and Hollywood elites, not anything to do with other comments,” he wrote. “I have an obvious, clear and substantial Congressional and public record of being 100% supportive of the Jewish community and Israel.”
Early Sunday morning, Fox News hosts Will Cain, Pete Hegseth and Rachel Campos-Duffy were similarly outraged at West’s treatment.
“We’re in this weird era where people can’t just say what they want to say,” Campos-Duffy said. “This idea you have to just shut down his account is just, it’s totally totalitarian, totally anti-American. It’s just wrong.”
They made an about-face later in the segment.
“We talked about it earlier without knowing about these tweets and saying of course they’re going to put a target, after what he said with Tucker, there’s going to be a target, no doubt,” Hegseth said. “But in this particular case, he brought the target.”
Campos-Duffy, though, continued to question who gets to decide what is removed from platforms like Instagram.
Some took a more creative tack in divorcing West from the conservatives that so giddily amplified him all weekend.
“Absurd to see ‘conservatives’ say Tucker or whoever hitched his wagon to Ye by doing an interview,” alt-right activist Mike Cenovich tweeted. “That’s textbook left wing tactics to falsely connect a GUEST of a show to the host. By that standard, no one controversial would be seen. Tired of the nonsense.”
Perhaps most chillingly, many on the right didn’t disavow the rapper or his statements at all.
As of Monday morning, the official twitter account for House Judiciary Republicans has left up a tweet reading: “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” There’s also a retweet of a clip from the interview with Carlson reading “MUST WATCH.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who has a history of cozying up to white nationalists and anti-Semites, and of posting an anime video depicting himself killing his political enemies, also left a tweet up from Friday.
“Pray for Kanye West,” he wrote. “They will throw everything they have at him simply for speaking the truth.”
It’s far from his first time West, who has a history of reported mental illness and erratic behavior, has flirted with the MAGA universe. In 2018, West met with then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.