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Former Trump officials call on Jared and Ivanka to weigh in on West, Fuentes dinner

‘I don’t understand what our former boss is doing,’ Larry Kudlow, former White House chief economic adviser, said on his Fox Business show

Former senior White House officials and allies of Donald Trump are publicly expressing frustration about the former president’s refusal to disavow the antisemitic views of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes two weeks after having dinner with them. 

“I don’t understand what our former boss is doing,” Larry Kudlow, a Fox Business host and former White House chief economic adviser, said on his daily show on Wednesday. “Why hasn’t he apologized for it or corrected the record or something?” Kudlow, who was born Jewish and has converted to Catholicism, asked his guest, Kellyanne Conway, who served as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016 and went on to serve in the administration. “He’s got to make a statement.” 

To date, Trump hasn’t responded to calls to say he disagrees with West, the rapper who changed his name to Ye and who has spewed antisemitic conspiracies, and Fuentes, one of America’s most prominent young white supremacists and a Holocaust denier. 

Conway also criticized Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the closest Jewish family members to Trump, who also served in senior White House positions but are now staying away from politics. “I would like to hear more from his daughter who’s Jewish,” Conway said in the interview. “I would like to hear more from his son-in-law,” who, she said, benefited most financially from serving in the administration. 

“It’d be nice for them to weigh in when you and I are expected to” she added. “So let me just say that because no one else will.”

CNN host Jake Tapper, airing Conway’s comments on his daily show The Lead on Thursday, remarked to his fellow panelists, “That was an interesting comment, I thought.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have three children, and their Jewishness has often been used to push back at criticism of Trump for trafficking in racist and antisemitic tropes. “I don’t believe Donald Trump is an antisemite. I don’t believe he’s a racist or a bigot,” former Vice President Mike Pence said in November. “People often forget that the president’s daughter converted to Judaism, his son-in-law is a devout Jew, his grandchildren are Jewish.”

Ivanka was notably absent from Trump’s 2024 kickoff at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and released a statement saying she does “not plan to be involved in politics.” Kushner, who was behind several key initiatives during Trump’s presidency, including the Abraham Accords, has also indicated that he won’t be involved in the 2024 campaign or seek to return to the White House if Trump is elected again. 

Rolling Stone reported Wednesday that high-profile Trump supporters and pro-Israel donors have reached out to Kushner after their attempts to have an audience with Trump have been rebuffed and “their messages left unreturned.”

Kudlow and Conway agreed that their criticism of Trump is “tough love,” but Kudlow noted that the Republican presidential front-runner is “losing support left and right” for his refusal to condemn West and Fuentes.

Tapper, on his show, suggested that Trump is not distancing himself from these individuals “because he doesn’t want to lose any votes. He thinks that there are people who believe in this Holocaust denial and antisemitism and he wants their support.”

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly described Larry Kudlow as Jewish. He was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism.

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