After the Neo-Nazi Demands More Support from Trump for January 6 Defendants, Trump Delivers

As I noted after the Thanksgiving dinner between Trump and a bunch of bigots, a key part of the dinner dropped out of the coverage. Both Nick Fuentes, at the dinner, and Kanye West, in a video after the dinner, demanded that Trump do more to support accused January 6 defendants.

As Jonathan Swan tells it (with Zachary Basu), in addition to scolding Trump about his increased reliance on teleprompters, Fuentes also delivered the message that parts of the far right are disappointed with Trump, in part, because he has not supported January 6 attackers sufficiently.

Fuentes told Trump that he represented a side of Trump’s base that was disappointed with his newly cautious approach, especially with what some far-right activists view as a lack of support for those charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

  • Trump didn’t disagree with Fuentes, but said he has advisers who want him to read off teleprompters and be more “presidential.” Notably, Trump referred to himself as a politician, which he has been loathe to do in the past.
  • Fuentes also told Trump that he would crush potential 2024 Republican rivals in a primary, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump asked for Fuentes’ opinion on other candidates as well. [italics mine, bold Axios’]

Not only doesn’t this sound like an unplanned encounter — at least from Fuentes’ side — but it affirmatively sounds like the kind of constituent ask that politicians of all stripes make when they discuss whether to endorse a candidate or not. Fuentes hated Trump’s announcement speech — too canned! — but he also warned that Trump needs to do more to support those being prosecuted for their role in Trump’s coup attempt.


The complaint that Trump has not done enough for already charged January 6 defendants (or, as Ye complained himself, not pardoned everyone) comes at a rather sensitive time. Of the January 6 defendants likely included in the seven Feuer cites, Christan Secor (holding the America First flag below) was sentenced in October by Trevor McFadden, who normally goes easy on January 6 defendants, to 42 months in prison.

More recently, the FBI arrested a group of 5 American Firsters in September, including former Fuentes deputy Joseph Brody (in the American flag mask and the suit in the picture above). One, Thomas Carey, is set to plead guilty on December 22, which will come with — at least — an interview on the others. And while DOJ portrayed groyper Riley Williams as having been radicalized by watching Nick Fuentes videos rather than in person, she was just jailed pending her February 22 sentencing, and any retrial on the hung charges (obstruction and abetting the theft of Nancy Pelosi’s laptop) might be easier if there was cooperation from others who were present in Pelosi’s office, as Carey may have been. Which is to say that the January 6 investigation into America First is getting closer to Fuentes himself.

But, particularly given Ye’s invocations of Stone and Jones in this context and Stone’s repeated complaints that Trump didn’t pardon him after January 6, those probably aren’t the only January 6 defendants Fuentes meant to invoke. Both Stone and Jones were named repeatedly during the Oath Keeper trial. Both are likely to be named in the upcoming Proud Boy Leaders trial. One Jones employee, Sam Montoya, pled guilty to parading on November 7. His plea agreement lacks the standard cooperation paragraph, which sometimes means that someone had to cooperate in advance to get the plea deal. And Jones’ sidekick, Owen Shroyer, is due to let Judge Tim Kelly know whether he plans on pleading at a status hearing tomorrow.

So the January 6 investigation is getting closer to Stone and Jones too.

Even some in Ye’s entourage have come under investigation, at least in Fani Willis’ investigation, for their role in Trump’s false voter fraud claims.

Trump’s meeting with Fuentes is a big deal. But it likely goes beyond, just, the fact that Trump was sharing Thanksgiving with noted anti-Semites. Both Ye and Fuentes used the meeting to raise Trump’s failures to protect those who helped his last attempt to seize power illegally.

Now, about ten days later, Trump seemingly responded to that request by taping a video that was shown at a holiday meeting of the Patriot Freedom Fund (just after 1:54), a grifty non-profit with ties to convicted Jan 6er and neo-Nazi Tim Hale-Cusanelli. The organization is one of several that preys on family members, funds lawyers to spew conspiracy theories (Joe McBride appears in this video), and generally celebrates the men and a few women who attacked the US as “patriots.”

And, as with the original ask, news outlets are not tying this apparent response with the ask.

Neo-Nazi Nick Feuntes made an ask, one tied to support for his reelection, and shortly thereafter Trump taped a video for a neo-Nazi tied organization celebrating those who attacked the Capitol.

41 replies
  1. viget says:

    The question is on whose behalf is Fuentes asking? Trump isn’t just doing this for a chance to regain power…there’s gotta be $$$$ attached too. Kinda doubt Fuentes and his neo-Nazis have that kind of money.

    Hopefully Fuentes’ org (America First?) is also being investigated here.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s CapitolHunters with information on J6/FUENTES/GROYPERS
      5:57 PM · Sep 20, 2022

      #SeditionHunters – a big one has dropped, the first major arrest of Nick Fuentes’ Groypers: the neo-Nazi #SuitGuy, Joseph Brody, and his 4 friends (#SuitGuysFlock). This is a big one and some things about it are still embargoed – it will only get bigger. 1/ [THREAD]

    • emptywheel says:

      The linked post explains some of that.

      But the answer is, yes America First is under active investigation, but so are Fuentes’ rent-a-mobsters like Alex Jones and Roger Stone.

      • viget says:

        Thanks, Dr.Wheeler.

        Although I’d reverse the roles… I feel like it’s Fuentes who is being rented, not Stone and Jones. Fuentes gets you brownshirts and muscle needed for the shocktroops, Stone, more so than Jones, is the coordinator for the mobsters with $$$$.

        Fuentes may also be a useful cutout in terms of money laundering too, as there is likely sufficient probable cause to monitor Stone’s bank accts and various front groups, and Jones’ finances are now either frozen or under a microscope due to the various judgements against him.

        What would be very interesting, and somewhat ballsy for the DOJ is to declare Fuentes and his groups in support of domestic terrorism which would bring stronger PATRIOT act equities into play….

        But I imagine there may be 1A concerns with the America First 501(c) groups?

        • emptywheel says:

          I think Ye is being rented to get co-conspirators Fuentes and Stone (and Jones) demands before Trump.

          You make Fuentes the deliveryboy though bc he’ll impose maximal cost.

    • Frank Anon says:

      The power is the money. MBS and Qatar are not throwing billions of dollars at just-some-guy, they want to purchase the government of the United States through Trump. Thing is, he has to be President to make that deal work and his options are becoming constrained. I would guess his path is to agglomerate those who are blind loyal, people and groups with agendas (and “troops”) and the straight up violent to have the largest and most dangerous faction on the Republican side. Then, he uses these people – some thinking they are using him – to intimidate the Republican field to drop out or join up. Then he thinks he utilizes more amped-up violence and fear to either scare out a win in the 2024 general election or use these people for a proper coup d’etat, one that MBS will have no problem recognizing. The press may think this meeting was a clown car, but its clear its part of something ominous.

      • jecojeco says:

        All trump can do, as former president, is whinge about Jan6 convictions and make promises of pardons for the insurrectionists. These are the risks of not taking out failed coups plotters – they go right back to lining up support for their next coup attempt.

        trump will be inviting these people back to dinner and seeking their brown shirts support to disrupt trials when he gets indicted up and down the east coast. Eventually IRS will add to his criminal woes.

      • wetzel says:

        “MBS and Qatar are not throwing billions of dollars at just-some-guy, they want to purchase the government of the United States through Trump.”

        And Russia. At-home fascists and over-there fascists. Worldwide psy-ops percolating insanity, though growing up in South Georgia, I know this is not coming from outside the house. It’s disgusting to see open Nazism

      • viget says:

        As Frank above says, yeah that’s what his paymasters want. Trump doesn’t really want to be president again…he is totally in it for the money.

        • oldtulsadude says:

          I think you are wrong. He wants to be president for the reason banks are robbed: that’s where the money is.

    • Kathy B says:

      It struck me that it corresponds to the attack on relatively conventional republicanism that is fueling the House speaker fight.

      I still don’t know how T didn’t see that there was no way that meet didn’t harm his campaign.

  2. gknight says:

    What I want to know is why is Trump doing this? Is it because he likes to control the dialogue in the media? Is it because he is wanting to pander to his base and become President again? Is it because he grifts off of it?

    Yes, yes and yes. Trump is incorrigible. Someone should dump a bowl of spaghetti on his head.

    Oh, someone already did.

    • emptywheel says:

      Partly because the more senior members of this crowd, including Stone and Jones, but also probably Fuentes himself, have leverage over Trump.

      And also that he knows he can’t win a GOP primary without white supremacists.

      • harpie says:

        Marcy, do you know if Fuentes’ “America First” gang is connected/related to similarly named gangs like Chafian’s “Women for America First”?

      • Kathy B says:

        Excellent point. But that does undermine the longer election game – I’m not sure he can win it with them either. But that isn’t the bet he seems to be making.

        There’s a part of that meet up that seems to be carrying water for Roger Stone (with a strong flavoring of “or else!”)

  3. Nick Caraway says:

    And the Republicans have proven themselves amazingly creative at one thing, which is to find excuses for Trump’s conduct. William Saletan lists 6 strategies they have been using.

    1. Say Nothing
    2. Condemn antisemitism/ racism in general but don’t blame Trump by name
    3. Blame staff– an underling “must have been responsible” for inviting Ye/ Fuentes.
    4. Swear that Trump is no bigot. Yeah, starting with his speech about immigrants from Mexico as he rode the golden escalator.
    5. Pretend that Trump said what he should have said, and actually condemned Ye/ Fuentes when he in fact did no such thing.
    6. Democrats “are antisemites too”/ whataboutism.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans actually used that creativity to better the lives of Americans?

    • Badger Robert says:

      Public statements by Republicans may not accurately reflect private negotiations. It could be the private negotiations that concern the former President. Resorting to further outrages to remain relevant seems to be a dead end tactic, Won’t the audience continue to shrink as the story lines get more and more bizarre?
      Perhaps the Republicans will come up with a formula that allows them to reject Trump and still appeal to the racist, nativist hatred of his MAGA movement.

      • viget says:

        I think this is likely. They need an off-ramp for Trump…so they can all get behind DeSantis, who is a far far more competent and dangerous form of Trump.

        The best possible outcome would be if the forces behind Trump and DeSantis go nuclear on each other such that they lay themselves bare.

        Trump seems to be trying to bait DeSantis into this, but he’s wisely not playing along so far.

        • Knox Bronson says:

          They are crazy if they think there is an off-ramp for Trump. He will burn it all down before he goes or is put away. Apparently, he already gave Rolling Stone some dirt on DeSantis which they have so far refused to print.
          Trump has an ironclad grip on the base. Nothing will change that, except maybe when they figure out he’s actually broke.
          Whatever the Republican powers-that-be think, DeSantis isn’t going to be the new Trump. They really are personality driven and want a “Leader” to sell more tax cuts and de-regulation to the rubes.

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        Resorting to further outrages to remain relevant seems to be a dead end tactic, Won’t the audience continue to shrink as the story lines get more and more bizarre?

        Well, you and I would like to think so, but I suspect that confirmation bias will keep at least some of the audience riveted to their seats, and the increasingly bizarre story lines will also be increasingly panicked (basically, “ARMAGEDDON IS HAPPENING NOW, SEND ALL YOUR MONEY, YOU WON’T NEED IT AFTER THE RAPTURE NEXT TUESDAY!!!”-level panic).

        So, to me, the question is what percentage of the audience takes their eyes off Trump and his accomplices long enough to think, “that’s not how any of this works”, and how many pick up the phone to donate every time they ask.

  4. harpie says:

    This made me think of the following from The Roger Stone Tapes Bennett/Swain March 4, 2022

    […] After he left Washington, Stone lobbied for Trump to enact the “Stone Plan” — a blanket presidential pardon to shield himself, Trump’s allies in Congress and “the America First movement” from prosecution for trying to overturn the election, according to the footage and additional documents reviewed by The Post. […]

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    “The Great Dictator speech, Charlie Chaplin”

    “The Great Dictator: The film that dared to laugh at Hitler” – BBC Culture, By Nicholas Barber, 5th February 2021
    “Chaplin was motivated by more than humanitarianism. He was also fascinated by his uncanny connections to Hitler, who was born in the same week as he was in April 1889. A comic song about the Führer, recorded by Tommy Handley in 1939, was entitled “Who Is That Man…? (Who Looks Like Charlie Chaplin)”.
    “It was Alexander Korda, the Hungarian-born British producer, who suggested that Chaplin should capitalise on the similarity, but it was obvious that an entire film of the former “Little Tramp” as a frothing tyrant would be too much for audiences to take, and so Chaplin opted to play two roles. He would be Adenoid Hynkel, the autocratic ruler of Tomainia, and he would be a humble, amnesiac, unnamed “Jewish Barber”. An opening caption announces: “Any Resemblance Between Hynkel the Dictator and the Jewish Barber is Purely Co-Incidental.”

    “Inevitably, this coincidental resemblance results in the two men being mistaken for one another, but not until the film’s climax. The Barber is hustled onto a stage where his doppelganger was due to make a speech, and Chaplin delivers a sincere five-minute plea for decency and brotherhood that either spoils the film (in the view of the Pulitzer-winning critic Roger Ebert) or elevates it further still:”
    “According to biographer Jürgen Trimborn, much of the film was inspired by a screening of Leni Riefenstahl’s pro-Hitler documentary, Triumph of the Will, at the New York Museum of Modern Art.”

    • John Lehman says:

      Thanks for the two links
      “The Great Dictator speech, Charlie Chaplin” was to me a surprising, touching and eloquent cry for world peace

      “The Great Dictator: The film that dared to laugh at Hitler” – BBC Culture, By Nicholas Barber, 5th February 2021

      And the article adds a deeper appreciation of the genius of Charlie Chaplin.

  6. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Wasn’t there something about Fuentes picking up $250K in bit coin somewhere from a source unknown? DOJ surely shining thier flash light on that, no?

    • viget says:

      Gosh, I surely hope so! If it’s BTC all the better, as I’m pretty sure the FBI has all the players mapped out there.

  7. Zinsky123 says:

    Thanks for this information – very interesting. Suit Guy and the prepubescent Groypers who infiltrated the Capitol on Jan 6th, 2021 were a particularly annoying and toxic group, in my opinion. Smug, destructive, nihilistic and privileged creeps who may not even have voted in 2020, yet want to force their paternalistic, simple-minded views down all Americans throats. Slimeballs like Fuentes and his ilk really don’t belong in America, where they use the very freedoms they enjoy, to take away other people’s freedoms. They are vile human beings.

  8. harpie says:
    8:11 PM · Dec 2, 2022

    Trump’s dinner with a Hitler fan isn’t a one-off— for more on the GOP’s decades’ long appeasement of extremists from the John Birch Society on, tune in to the @NewYorker podcast: [LINK]

    > The Historical Echoes of Trump’s Dinner with a White Supremacist
    [Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos] 12/2/22

    • harpie says:
      10:37 PM · Dec 2, 2022

      People now marveling over Matt Taibbi’s fall from his noble days covering Occupy Wall Street – remember that Tim Pool, who just hosted Kanye West and Nick Fuentes on his show, also got his start at Occupy. The alt-right is full of those slides from journalism to propaganda. 1/ [screenshots]

      After Occupy, Tim Pool covered Ferguson along with Russian asset Cassandra Fairbanks & future Proud Boy leader Joe Biggs, then with InfoWars. So many ‘journalists’.

      Also: so, so many trips to Russia. In 2002: Matt Taibbi, Elon Musk, Tim “Baked Alaska” Gionet, & Ivan Raiklin. 2/

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Anyone now marveling over Taibbi’s fall from grace into propaganda is either addicted to naked capitalism or has been asleep for over a decade. He’s been down the rabbit hole for quite some time.

  9. BirdGardener says:

    Politico has reported that Trump has called for the suspension of the constitution:

    DONALD TRUMP, the former president and the person that polls show is still the most likely GOP presidential nominee in 2024, today on Truth Social called for the suspension of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election, citing false conspiracy theories about election fraud.

    “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote, hours after new details of Twitter’s internal moderation deliberations in 2020 were released at the behest of new owner ELON MUSK. (More on that below.)

    Every Republican will be asked about Trump’s statement. The former president dined with antisemites last week, and now he says the Constitution should be discarded. If you are a Republican who thinks being asked to take a position on this is just some liberal media trap, consider what you would say if BARACK OBAMA or JOE BIDEN tweeted this.

    TPM hasn’t picked up on this yet, nor the bbc. Tired as I am of Trump, it seems like a very big deal to me.

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