Milo Yiannopoulos (l) Laura Loomer (c) Roger Stone (r)

Maverick Pictures/Shutterstock Cornelius O'Donoghue/Shutterstock NowThis News/YouTube (Licensed)

Inside the far-right troll war between DeSantis, Trump, and Ye supporters

Accusations of backstabbing and treachery are already plaguing the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Posted on Nov 30, 2022   Updated on Dec 2, 2022, 12:34 pm CST

The next presidential election is two years away, but the race for the Republican nomination is already heating up. Former President Donald Trump, the first candidate to announce and currently the presumptive frontrunner, is naturally right in the thick of it. But as much as some desire his return, others want to Trump out of the picture.

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Now, far-right trolls are taking sides, fighting a proxy war before even the first ballots are cast.

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The conflict has turned allies into enemies and entangled high-profile figures. Threats and accusations are being fired across the internet in an ugly, personal war between former compatriots.

Extremists battling it out include Islamophobe Laura Loomer, far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos, and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, among others.

Loomer and Yiannopoulos are longtime friends turned bitter enemies who’ve each chosen opposite sides: Loomer for Trump; Yiannopoulos against. Fuentes, who is also pro-Trump, appears to have recently been used as an unwitting pawn by Yiannopoulos.

Yiannopoulos had all but disappeared from public view when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) threw him a career lifeline by hiring him earlier this year. Yiannopoulos recently nabbed a spot working for Ye, the rapper Kanye West, on his presidential campaign—though there’s some debate about whether he legitimately hopes to bolster Ye’s chances or is simply using him to wreak havoc and hurt Trump.

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Last week, Ye unexpectedly brought Yiannopoulos and Fuentes along for a preplanned dinner with Trump. Ye later put out a video saying that Trump was “really impressed” by Fuentes, who is the far-right’s most prominent Holocaust denier.

That meal generated an onslaught of negative coverage and condemnations of Trump for dining with Fuentes—including from former Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it “a mistake.”

Trump subsequently released a statement claiming that he had no idea who Fuentes was before the dinner.

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The trio has since been accused of setting Trump up. One of Trump’s advisers told NBC News of the dinner disaster, “The master troll got trolled. Kanye punked Trump.”

That dinner set Loomer off in a big way. She believes that it was a ploy to hurt Trump politically, and claims that Yiannopoulos is actually quietly in cahoots with Greene and other top Republicans to take Trump down.

In recent days, Loomer has unleashed a volley of posts accusing Yiannopoulos and Greene of dirty dealings.

“Milo is not only trying to sabotage President Trump and Ye, but he is also trying to sabotage and blackmail Nick Fuentes,” Loomer recently wrote on Telegram.

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She’s also posted screenshots of Yiannopoulos’ blasting both Trump and Ye, as well as a video of Greene endorsing her congressional campaign and friendly texts the two women supposedly exchanged.

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Loomer is convinced that Yiannopoulos has been deployed by Greene as part of a secret endeavor to bolster the candidacy of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is a presumed contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“I believe MTG is working with [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy [R-Calif.] to undermine Donald Trump by using Milo as a political hit job tool for the sake of helping make Ron DeSantis the 2024 GOP presidential nominee,” she claimed.

Yiannopoulos has largely ignored Loomer’s attacks with the exception of recently reposting an unflattering depiction of her captioned, “Someone owes Milo an apology.”

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Greene told Newsweek that Loomer is lying about everything in an attempt to “remain relevant.” She denied working against Trump and said that Yiannopoulos’ internship with her office ended in August.

Other far-right figures agree with Loomer’s theory about the dinner being part of a plot to take down the former president.

Both McCarthy and Greene recently released statements condemning Fuentes. Greene specifically referenced “his racist antisemitic ideology,” which prompted Loomer to post a screenshot of Greene retweeting a list last week of Twitter accounts that Elon Musk should reinstate. The list includes Yiannopoulos and Fuentes.

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“She wasn’t disavowing him the other day,” Loomer noted.

Loomer ally Roger Stone reshared a post supporting her. “Loomered!” it read, discussing how she cut ties with Greene over her ‘Anti-MAGA’ support. Stone has stood by Trump for decades.

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“Loomer is going full gas,” the In Magna Excitatio Telegram account wrote of her accusation that her former friend is out to “sabotage” Trump.

Yiannopoulos hasn’t made much of a secret that he’s pleased the dinner turned into a political debacle for Trump. He posted the NBC News article in which an operative claimed Trump got “punked” by Ye.

He’s also blamed Trump for his political problems. “Nick and Ye didn’t discredit Trump’s 2024 campaign with that dinner meeting. Trump did that himself by having the most boring low energy announcement speech in history,” he wrote on Telegram.

Others on the far-right are fiercely debating whether Yiannopoulos is pulling the strings in Ye’s presidential campaign in an effort to draw support away from Trump without actually helping his current boss.

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Raheem J. Kassam, who worked with Yiannopoulos at Breitbart, believes that his former colleague is responsible for some recent tweets from Ye’s account. Some have since been deleted.

Of one tweet, Kassam wrote, “It’s Milo. As a former editor of his, I recognize the poor syntax and shielding of himself by naming others. It is literally all he does and he doesn’t realize it’s become boomer af.”

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There’s also chatter about who else might be in on a potential plot to influence the Republican presidential primary race.

“What do you know about this character Milo Yiannopoulos??? Is he connected in any way to Marjorie ‘Put Lin Wood In Jail’ Taylor Greene???” conspiracy theorist attorney Lin Wood wrote on Telegram. “…Are Ol’ Margie and [Mike] Flynn friends???”

Far-right figure Tim Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, accused Tim Pool of provoking Ye rather than letting him pontificate on his podcast. Ye, accompanied by Yiannopoulos and Fuentes, abruptly walked out on Pool’s podcast after some mild pushback about their antisemitism.

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“Don’t buy into Tim’s gaslighting. He knows exactly what he’s doing,” Gionet said, claiming Pool was working against Ye.

Yiannopoulos has indirectly denied such accusations.

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“Everybody, me included, loves Trump and wants 2016 Trump back,” he wrote on Tuesday. “That still won’t be enough to beat an authentically Christian #YE24. But at least it would make the journey more interesting!”

Fuentes appears to have been caught off guard by the negative publicity he generated for Trump, and he denies being part of a ploy against him.

“My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news. I love Donald Trump,” he wrote on Telegram on Tuesday.

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Although it’s still years away, the feud over who will become the next Republican presidential nominee has set the far-right ablaze.

“I get a lot of credit as a connector, instigator, architect, imagineer, icon, visionary, prophet… you name it,” Yiannopoulos posted on Gab last week. “And that’s all true….”

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2022, 11:05 am CST